What really happened at the Nurburgring crash in 1976?

What happened at the Nurburgring crash?

By: Jake Rajala

There have been many tragic moments in the history of sports. The NFL legendary pass rusher Lawrence Taylor broke the mythical quarterback Joe Theisman’s ankle. In the world of hockey, Clint Malarchuk, nearly died after his jugular vein was cut by the skate of Steve Tuttle. Well, there was arguably one incident in F1 that was crazier than any other horror scene in sports: the Nurburgring crash in 1976.

The bold Niki Lauda was gearing up for a stronger season than his arch-nemesis in James Hunt (as portrayed in the movie “Rush”). At the Nurburgring GP, the ascending driver endured a shocking, life-changing event. He crashed into the barrier, went up in flames, and was even hit by another driver. It would be an understatement to say that it didn’t seem he would survive the scary, fictional-like, image.

Luckily, Arturo Merzario was able to pull him out of the burning car! If Merzario was a few seconds late, the Ferrari driver wouldn’t have cheated death.

Similar to the confusion surrounding the immaculate catch in the NFL, It’s unclear what exactly caused Lauda to drive into the barrier. Perhaps it was the conditions? He may have also made a bad judgment on the corner – which resulted in the accident.

Lauda still raced six weeks after he was a literal man on fire at the Monza Grand Prix. He even finished sixth at the GP. He wasn’t able to beat James Hunt, who had a serious love and hate relationship with Lauda, in 1976.

The Wolverine-like figure was an inspirational beast – as he went on to win the 1977 world championship and 1984 world championship.

“From success, you learn absolutely nothing. From failure and setbacks conclusions can be drawn. That goes for your private life as well as your career”. – Niki Lauda

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: