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Shame about the death of Niki Lauda, only 70 yrs old.

On the subject of fires, he nearly died in 1976 when his Ferrari burst into flames.
One of the greatest, now gone. An Alfa driver too. It looks like the lung damage from that Nurburgring accident finally took its toll.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/46781936

This definitely should have had it’s own thread. Whaddayaknow, now it does. Thanks, 4Canada.
 

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Niki Lauda recollection, was in German (English translation):

This quote is from an interview of the German Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2013 together with Daniel Brühl.

Lauda: ''Well, she was one of those American TV morning show hosts. They came to the Nürburgring and this woman, tall, blonde, the whole package, wanted to do an interview exactly where the accident happened. They were all like 'Oohh, he's gonna cry for sure; this will be a really big emotional moment!'

''However, I had taken a little croissant with me from the hotel buffet and put it in the grass beforehand. She starts: 'Mister Lauda, how is it to be here ...' I say: 'Just a moment!' and walk a few steps into the grass. She asks, 'What are you doing?' I say, 'Oh look, here's my ear!' She was done. She totally lost it (freaked out). They had to shoot the whole thing again.''


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Niki Lauda recollections (with English translation):

This quote is from an interview of the German Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2013 together with Daniel Brühl.

Lauda: Na ja, das war eine von diesen amerikanischen Morningshows, die kamen zum Nürburgring, und so eine Frau, groß, blond, alles dran, wollte mich an der Unfallstelle interviewen. Die hatten sich alle gesagt: Ui, der wird sicher weinen, das wird ein ganz großer emotionaler Moment!

Ich hab mir aber vom Hotelbuffet ein Kipferl mitgenommen und das vorher ins Gras gelegt. Die fängt an: »Mister Lauda, how is it to be here ...« Sag ich: »Just a moment!« und geh ein paar Schritte ins Gras. Fragt sie: »What are you doing?« Sag ich: »Oh look, here's my ear!« Die war fertig. Die hat die Fassung verloren. Die mussten alles noch mal drehen.

Translation:

Lauda: ''Well, she was one of those American TV morning show hosts. They came to the Nürburgring and this woman, tall, blonde, the whole package, wanted to do an interview exactly where the accident happened. They were all like "Oohh, he's gonna cry for sure, this will be a really big emotional moment!"

However, I had taken a little croissant with me from the hotel buffet and put it in the grass beforehand. She starts: "Mister Lauda, how is it to be here ..." I say: "Just a moment!" and walk a few steps into the grass. She asks, "What are you doing?" I say, "Oh look, here's my ear!" She was done. She totally lost it (freaked out). They had to shoot the whole thing again.''


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hahaha awesome story
 

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I remember (whether correctly or not) after the Lauda Air Airbus incident, where an engine suddenly activated its reverse thrust capability mid-flight causing the engine to separate from the wing and the aircraft to crash. Lauda surveyed his pilots to then find very few had any aerobatic experience whatsoever. Almost none had any actual unusual attitude recovery training which may have enabled the pilots to recover from their situation. He thought, since racers know how to control their cars in extreme situations, all his pilots should too. Fair enough, say I as well. The upshot? The pilots protested and Lauda sold his airline. He refused to accept the pilots’ anti-aerobatic training stance and would rather disassociate himself from the airline than accept their view. A man of principle.

It was this incident and Laudas’ response to it that confirmed my view that anyone learning to fly needed aerobatic training to have confidence in the air and of Laudas’ greatness. Training to recover from unusual attitudes (inverted, spinning etc) while under the hood (using instruments and not looking out of the cockpit) should be part of everyones’ training syllabus (it was in mine). The trouble arises when pilots do all their training in non-aerobatic Cessna 150/172s and Piper Tomahawks/Warriors. Every airline flight I take I wonder about the type of training of the Pilot has experienced. When it comes to feeling disoriented and experiencing G’s no simulator substitutes for the real thing.
 

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Niki Lauda recollection, was in German (English translation):

This quote is from an interview of the German Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2013 together with Daniel Brühl.

Lauda: ''Well, she was one of those American TV morning show hosts. They came to the Nürburgring and this woman, tall, blonde, the whole package, wanted to do an interview exactly where the accident happened. They were all like 'Oohh, he's gonna cry for sure; this will be a really big emotional moment!'

''However, I had taken a little croissant with me from the hotel buffet and put it in the grass beforehand. She starts: 'Mister Lauda, how is it to be here ...' I say: 'Just a moment!' and walk a few steps into the grass. She asks, 'What are you doing?' I say, 'Oh look, here's my ear!' She was done. She totally lost it (freaked out). They had to shoot the whole thing again.''


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Just read another, similar example of his wit...


"While promoting Rush in the US with Daniel Brühl, the two of them ended up in a live show with a rather unprepared young host. She had done zero research and had no clue who the man was the star of the movie showed up with. Towards the end of the interview, she finally turned to him and asked: “And what’s your connection to the film?” Niki took off his red baseball cap, exposing his burnt head and quipped: “I’m the one who organized the BBQ.” This dark sense of humor and the refusal to feel sorry for himself at even the most harrowing phases of his life made him a legend."
- Elizabeth Sereda for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
 

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It was Niki Lauda who put another spin on modern F1 and the ease of driving.

He said you had to shift 1800 times around Monaco without missing a shift before modern F1 gearboxes were a thing. Great drivers sometimes had the reliability bug bite them, but they might have missed a shift, or several, trashing either the trans, the car or both in one big shot or several modest ones.

Also from notoriously honest Niki:

Max Verstappen doesn't know what heel 'n' toe is.

He did not like the halo.
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