Following the frightening Nurburgring accident of 1 August 1976 which involved the unfortunate Niki Lauda and which forced him to a difficult recovery, Enzo Ferrari was convinced that the Austrian would never be the same as before after the encounter with fire. and began looking for a replacement. The choice fell on Carlos Reutemann, but the return of Lauda created the singular situation of three Ferraris on the track at the 1976 Italian GP. Aided by the Austrian defeat of the Fuji deluge, Reutemann started with the first driver’s stripes in 1977. But soon the hierarchies changed and Lauda managed to win his second world title, before leaving Maranello to land in Brabham. Love never blossomed between Reutemann and the Rossa, as with Lauda, and this can be found both in the famous words of Enzo Ferrari used in the book ‘Piloti, che gente’, and in those of Niki Lauda himself, with whom split the box in 1977.
“After Lauda we had Reutemann, who had already raced with Ferrari with the 1973 Sports Prototype. Argentine, a highly skilled driver, conditioned by a tormented and tormenting temperament. Able to solve difficult situations, also making up for occasional mechanical deficiencies, but weak to spoil for congenital emotionality results that can be acquired at the start. He left us, in this emulating Fangio, to get the car he considered winning for 1979 and with which he hoped to win the world title he had missed, with us, despite winning four Grands Prix in the 1978 season. , and ended his honest career without being able to become world champion. “
Enzo Ferrari, Pilots what people …, 1985
“Carlos Reutemann. I will certainly not spread a carpet of roses for him. An unfriendly and icy boy. As colleagues within the Ferrari team we never understood each other. It was impossible to establish a technical collaboration with him as he would always express a tactically inspired opinion which, perhaps, would bring him some advantage at the time of development. After my accident in 1976 he immediately put me in difficulty, as he tried to have the whole Ferrari line up in his favor; however, I quickly regained control of the situation. As a driver he was good, but not sensational. “
Niki Lauda, MeineStory, 1985.