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Niki Lauda in his own words: His 1976 crash, rivalry with James Hunt

Niki Lauda in his own words: His 1976 crash, rivalry with James Hunt

The Austrian suffered third-degree burns to his head and face and damage to his lungs after inhaling toxic gases in the horrific crash at the Nurburgring but made an incredible return to the track. He finished fourth at the Italian Grand Prix, with his unhealed wounds having soaked his fireproof balaclava in blood by the end of

The Austrian suffered third-degree burns to his head and face and damage to his lungs after inhaling toxic gases in the horrific crash at the Nurburgring but made an incredible return to the track.

He finished fourth at the Italian Grand Prix, with his unhealed wounds having soaked his fireproof balaclava in blood by the end of the race. Remarkably he went on to finish the World Championship second to James Hunt

Writing in his autobiography To Hell And Back, he said: 

Lying in bed ruminating about the ‘Ring would have finished me.

I said then and later that I had conquered my fear quickly and cleanly. That was a lie. But it would have been foolish to play into the hands of my rivals by confirming my weakness. At Monza, I was rigid with fear.

Lauda on… his frank assessment of the first Ferrari car he drove



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