Niki Lauda obituary
Star racing driver who survived a near-fatal crash to win the Formula One world championship three times
Niki Lauda was attempting to win his second Formula One world title when he was almost killed in one of the most famous accidents in the history of motor sport. As his Ferrari caught fire after hitting a bank at high speed during the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda lay unconscious in the cockpit. Other drivers stopped and tried to help. One, Arturo Merzario, plunged into the flames to unbuckle the Austrian’s safety harness. Eventually he was extricated and taken to hospital, where he was treated for burns so severe that he was given the last rites.
Source: Formula 1