Sunday, 30 November 2008

What was Niki Lauda’s nickname?

There was a question on Eggheads the other day - “What was Niki Lauda’s nickname?" The three optional answers were – The Gerbil, The Rat and The Mouse. I would have guessed the Rat but I didn’t know. The Rat was the answer.

Upon checking (through Googling it, of course) I came across a site that said The Rat was a derogatory title given to Lauda. Another site, F1complete, also described it as ‘uncomplimentary’. However, Lauda himself is quoted elsewhere as saying ``The rat was my role model in the animal kingdom, with its high intelligence and instinct for survival,''

If there is any doubt which is the correct interpretation, in 1997 Lauda went to the launch of a toy by the famous German toy-makers Steiff. The toy - a cuddly Rat called Niki which came complete with gnawing teeth, red shell logo overalls, black boxer shorts and Lauda's trademark red baseball cap.

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