Big crash relieves rookie pressure – Lauda

Tue, 13 March 2007, 11:15

Grand prix rookies Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen will race in formula one for the first time with an important pressure off their shoulders, according to Niki Lauda.

The former triple world champion, 58, refers to the fact that both of the debuting youngsters have already had their first major formula one shunts.

22-year-old Hamilton crashed heavily in his McLaren at Valencia in January, while Finn Kovalainen, 25, destroyed a barrier at the Bahrain circuit last month.

Neither incidents caused injury.

“That is a large obstacle that they no longer have to tackle,” Austrian Lauda told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

Lauda, of course, is no stranger to big accidents, and still bears the scars of his near fatal crash at the Nurburgring in 1976.

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