38 years ago today, there was almost a tragedy at the Nürburgring.
On lap 2 of the German Grand Prix on the infamously dangerous circuit, Niki Lauda’s Ferrari ploughed into a barrier, spinning him back onto the track in the path of oncoming cars and was engulfed in flames. He was pulled free from the wreckage by several other drivers but not before significant damage was done to his skin and, more devastatingly, his lungs.
He was rushed to hospital where the diagnosis was grim, so much so that he was given the last rites. It seemed that everyone had given up hope of the reigning world champion pulling through.
Which is, frankly, ridiculous. Because this is Niki Fucking Lauda. He doesn’t have time for death! What kind of bullshit is that? He has a title to win, just you try and stop him!
Six weeks later that man showed off his scars to the world. And while on the inside he was, to put it lightly, shitting bricks, he wasn’t about to let this ruin his life, wasn’t about to let it dictate his future. He got in that Ferrari that almost claimed his life, he qualified fifth and came fourth in the race. Because that’s how he rolls.
He lost the 1976 championship by 1 point. He went on to win another two titles.
Because Niki Lauda is fucking awesome.