Jul.7 (GMM) Niki Lauda says the F1 fraternity this week gave a thumbs-up to a movie about the sport's legendary 1976 season.

During qualifying at the Nurburgring on Saturday, the triple world champion was spotted in the Mercedes garage with Ron Howard.

'Happy Days' actor and American Howard, director of Apollo 13, was behind 'Rush' -- a movie about Austrian legend Lauda, his fiery 1976 Nurburgring crash and his rivalry with James Hunt.

(L to R): Bernie Ecclestone, CEO Formula One Group, talks with Niki Lauda, Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman on the Mercedes AMG F1 motorhome roof
(L to R): Bernie Ecclestone, CEO Formula One Group, talks with Niki Lauda, Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman on the Mercedes AMG F1 motorhome roof

Photo by: XPB Images

The film will not be released until September, but some of the sport's leading figures - including Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton - were given a special screening at the Nurburgring, Lauda told Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"The pictures are really immense," said the 64-year-old Austrian, now co-owner and chairman of the Mercedes team.

"And the director Ron Howard was really happy because he could see how excited these Formula One experts were about his film," added Lauda.

A British newspaper said Red Bull's Christian Horner and Adrian Newey also attended the screening.