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).
GV AND SV Racing driver Niki Lauda steps from car to receive award from Prince Ranier for winning Monaco Grand Prim (1976) (2 shots)
GV PAN Lauda testing Ferrari at Ferrari test track in Italy (1976)
CU Mechanics showing Lauda's burned out helmet alongside new helmet (1976)
SV Lauda competing in Italian Grand Prix race shortly after accident. (1976)
GVs Lauda at London's Guildhall walking up to receive award with audience applauding. (2 shots)
SV Lauda being presented with award; audience applaud.
SV Lauda speaking to audience.
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 7) LAUDA: "Thus the general surprise at how I recovered after my accident last year seems a bit unfounded. In the worst physical crisis I never accepted the eventuality of death. After I had left hospital I fully concentrated on recovery. I knew once my physical health was entirely restored I could race again. In Monza I slowly eased the brake in my mind and ultimately came fourth. Ever since I have continued in my profession as a racing driver not because of unheard-of prowess, but because mentally and physically I have always been under control. I am not sure whether you agree with me that expertness is the main element in valour. At any rate I should like to say a few words about conditions of safety of circuits. In order to avoid accidents, circuits must be properly laid out and drivers must stick to the rules of the game.
At least some of the circuits certainly don't fulfill the most primitive requirements. More important still, the terms of deciding when a race is called off or broken off have to be clarified. The decision can't be left to the organisers, who often put prestige before the safety of drivers."
SPORT MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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.