Video: Rush Movie Latest – Lauda Crash Recreated
Heading in to the 1976 German Grand Prix, Niki Lauda was the fastest man in Formula One, sitting on a very healthy championship lead ahead of Jody Scheckter and James hunt; a clear favourite to win the 1976 Formula One World Championship and successfully defend his ’75 title.
He was fast and fearless around the ‘ring, and had become the first person to lap the Nordschleiffe in under seven minutes the year before, setting a pole-position time of 6:58 for the 1975 German Grand Prix.
And he was campaigning to have the race boycotted by the drivers, due to the ever-present concern for safety around the 14-mile circuit. It was (is) bumpy, devoid of runoff and proper crash-barriers and offered terrible access for safety personnel, especially around the back part of the track.
The majority of drivers chose to race, and so the German Grand Prix took to the Nordschleiffe for the last time.
On the second lap, Lauda hit the wall going in to Bergwerk around the back of the circuit, rolled into the middle of the track, burst into flame and was collected by Brett Lunger. Arturo Merzario, Brett Lunger and Guy Edwards pulled over to attempt to free him as they waited for the emergency crew to arrive and pull him to safety.
His time in that inferno left him with severe burns and damage to his lungs and blood.
39 days later he was back in the Ferrari 312T2, busy taking fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. And now, 36 years on, Ron Howard is putting together that very scene for his upcoming film Rush, which tells the tale of the rivalry between Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Lauda (Daniel Brühl) during the 1976 season.
Check out Ron Howard’s Twitter feed @RealRonHoward for up-to-the-minute behind the scenes direct from the man himself.
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