Lauda steps down from Air Berlin role

Niki Lauda has shown his determination to give all he can to his new role with Mercedes by electing to step down from a management position at Air Berlin.

The three-time world champion was appointed as non-executive chairman of Mercedes last year as the German car manufacturer made a fresh push to overhaul its Formula 1 efforts in a bid for more success.

Although some questioned Lauda's motivation for getting involved in F1 management after the difficulties he previously faced at Jaguar, the Austrian has subsequently embraced the role.

His input will be called on even more now, following the decision of Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug to step down at the end of last year.

In a bid to spend more time on his Mercedes efforts, Lauda has now elected to step down from the board of Air Berlin, having taken up that role at the end of 2011. He will be replaced by Austin Reid, a former CEO of bmi.

Air Berlin's chairman of the board of director Dr Hans-Joachim Koerber said: "The Board thanks Niki Lauda for his committed, stimulating work for the benefit of the company."