In the mid-1970s Ferrari became F1's most fiercely competitive team, winning four from five constructors' titles. But it almost cost the life of their star driver. By Damien Smith
History tends to paint him as the wily pragmatist who calculated his way to a pair of Ferrari world titles in the mid 1970s - a kind of prototype Michael Schumacher.
Those labels alone do Niki Lauda a monumental disservice, however. Clinical? Oh yes, certainly. But also searingly fast - a match for anyone at his mid-decade zenith, and almost certainly on a curve that was still rising...until the Nurburgring 1976.
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