Transcript: What Nikki Lauda said (and what he didn't say)

By Fat Hippo

Speaking a foreign language is a jolly fine talent to have, but the problem is that no matter how much effort you put into it, you usually understand only the scientific variant or perhaps one or two regional dialects, so it came as no surprise that the translations and articles of and about Niki Lauda's appearance in Austria's Red Bull-produced TV show "Sport&Talk" are all over the place, just not very accurate. 

If you want to see what I mean, listen to our podcast through the media player at the bottom of this article and try to riddle out what the Thunderbeast is talking about. 

So I sat down and used all my year-long experience of living in Austria to bring you the most precise transcript anywhere on the interwebs.

Situation: “Sport&Talk” in Red Bull owned Servus-TV’s “Hangar 7”. A table for four, on one side Swiss commentator Roger Benoit next to Nikki Lauda, on the opposite side, the Moderator next to Red Bull’s Dr. Marko.

R. Benoit (complaining about lack of spark and drama in F1): This concerns Mercedes, now. The fans, you know, they all have their favourites, Verstappen, Ricciardo or whoever is toiling about out there. Hamilton-Rosberg, (exasperated hand gesture), now Hamilton, of all the things he could do, even starts acting as a conciliator.

Annotation: The German original says: “Jetzt holt der Hamilton auch noch den Weichspüler raus.”, which literally translates to: “And now, of all the things, Hamilton unpacks the fabric softener”

Using or fetching the fabric softener is a common German euphemism for either whitewashing a situation or suddenly abandoning hostilities and unexpectedly switching to a concilliatory approach.

R Benoit: (puts his arm around Lauda, overacting sarcastically): “Rosberg, in reality he’s my friend, and things between us become better and better, and all that. Well, if that's case it’s all over now [in terms of excitement]. It’s like two boxers coming to the ring, arm in arm.”

Lauda interrupts Benoit: “He lied. It’s as simple as that”

Annotation: In German Lauda says: “Der hat gelogen.”

He refers to Lewis by a generic article only which is (in formal German) considered rude, however in southern Germany and Austria, it is quite common to talk like that.

Lauda: “The conciliatory act was just so he so he had something to say at all. But when those two start driving, he will try everything, and it becomes worse and worse the longer Rosberg is ahead of him. Im afraid...” (gets cut off)

Annotation: Lauda uses the Austrian comparative "ärger", which is nigh-on untranslatable. It would lead to gibberish like "and it becomes more and more very". The statement refers to Lewis trying everything and is meant to say that he is willing to use more and more severe measures to get ahead of Nico. 

All four guests start talking over each other, until Benoit yells the loudest and asks: “But the whole world says they are friends again?”

Lauda and Marko (in unison): “Hello? It’s all show, pure show!”

R.Benoit: “Well, then I want to know: Why did he destroy his room in Baku?”

Annotation: It should be noted that Benoit (like Lauda later) uses the verb ‘zertrümmern’, which doesn’t mean causing mere damage. It explicitely means significant or total destruction.

Lauda: “I was there, you know.”

Benoit: “So why?”

Lauda (laughs): “Because he drove into the wall.” (has to repeat two times due to noise)

Benoit: “And who pays for the damage?”

Lauda: “He [of course], trust me (laughs about Benoits naivete) To me he said, I’m not allowed to come in because he’s going to bash in everything. (shrugs) And then he did.”

Benoit wants to launch into an interpretation of the scene, but Lauda interrupts him and pats his arm. “The conciliatory act was just a bullshit story.”

(video ends)

Here's the original video in German (may be geo-locked to Austria)