Niki Lauda's shock announcement that he's leaving the Ferrari team has been made official. He?
Niki Lauda's shock announcement that he's leaving the Ferrari team has been made official. He told newsmen in Rome on Thursday (15 September) he'd be driving for an Italian dairy firm, Parmalat, which is sponsoring a Formula One racing team for the world championships - the Brabham-Alfa team.
SYNOPSIS: The official announcement was made by dairy company spokesman Domenico Barili. He said the new team would consist of Lauda and Irishman John Watson. Watson is a brilliant driver, but he's had a lot of bad luck with mechanical failures during most of his races - he's broken down many times when victory was within his grasp.
Niki Lauda told newsmen he'd decided to sign with Brabham-Alfa after the Dutch Grand Prix. He praised Enzo Ferrari - but he said the Ferrari team had been managed by amateurs while out of Italy.
Lauda said he was angry with Carlos Reutemann - his Ferrari team mate - for not helping him at the recent Monza Grand Prix. He said Reutemann had raced against him as a competitor. Lauda only needs one more point to clinch the World Championship. He said he'd test the new Brabham only after the forth-coming Japanese Grand Prix, when his contract with Ferrari expires.
The Parmalat company will spend from one to two million U.S dollars to sponsor the Brabham-Alfa team. Its sponsorship replaces that of the liquor firm Martini and Rossi. The cars will wear the new Parmalat colours of white with blue and orange stripes.