INTRODUCTION: The courage of former world motor racing champion Niki Lauda of Austria was honoured at a special ceremony in London, England, on Monday (14 February).
INTRODUCTION: The courage of former world motor racing champion Niki Lauda of Austria was honoured at a special ceremony in London, England, on Monday (14 February). He was presented with the International Award for Valour in Sport, for his courage in returning to the track only six weeks after his near-fatal crash during the West German Grand Prix last year. The award, which is sponsored by Britain's Victoria Sporting Club, was made at London's historic Guildhall. When Lauda crashed at Germany's Nuerburgring circuit in August, he was reigning world champion. He lost the title to James Hunt of Britain in the final race of the season in Japan, despite his heroic come-back.
SYNOPSIS: Only two months before his crash he had scored a runaway victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, receiving the trophy from Prince Ranier.
Lauda's skillful test sessions, like this one at the Ferrari test track in Italy, maintained the Ferrari as a world beater.
Lauda's burnt-out helmet after the German crash. Incredibly, six weeks later, he was back-racing in the Italian Grand Prix.
Lauda won the annual award over nominees from 114 international sports organisations. Still showing the disfiguring scars inflicted by his burning Ferrari, Lauda was warmly applauded as he went to receive the award from the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robin Gillett. But in his speech of thanks, he was critical of track safety and race organisers.