5 things you may not have known about Niki Lauda
- The three-time Formula One world champion was immortalized in Ron Howard's film Rush and won with both Ferrari and McLaren.
He is consistently voted by enthusiasts, analysts and Formula One professionals alike as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. Lauda did not just display speed, but a bravery far beyond anything F1 had seen after that crash at the Nurburgring.Despite suffering third degree burns and falling into a coma as a result of his injuries, Lauda returned to racing only 6 weeks later and finished that race in 4th.Now serving as the non-executive chairman of three-time world champions Mercedes AMG Petronas, Lauda is still closely involved with the sport he had struggled to join nearly 50 years prior.Here are 5 things you may not have known about the three-time world champion, who won with both Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren.
#5 He earns over a million dollars off his cap
You read that right. Lauda’s now immortalized accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring saw him receive third degree burns and injuries so severe they saw him lapse into a coma for a number of days afterwards.
Lauda was badly disfigured in the accident, including severe burns on his scalp. He has worn his iconic red cap or ‘cappy’ since 1976 to cover those injuries, and in the years afterwards, several companies paid Lauda to secure advertising space on the cap.
As recently as 2009, Lauda revealed that an advertiser had paid him €1.2m – nearly US$ 1.34 million – for space on the red cap.