Niki Lauda’s helmet auctioned off during terrible accident…


On August 1, 1976, it rains at the start of the German Grand Prix. The event, which takes place on the Nürburgring’s famous Nordschleife, divides drivers, with some finding the 22 kilometer course dangerous. One of them was Austrian driver Niki Lauda, ​​who found the lack of safety on “the Green Hell” particularly disturbing. But he had no choice but to get into his Ferrari and drive it, with rain tires. While some competitors use slicks, Lauda can increase his place in the rankings. But he loses control of his car in a kink after the Berwerk bend.

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Lauda’s Ferrari flies into the fences and verge on the right side of the circuit. He bounces around to the other side of the track and catches fire, hit by the Hesketh by Edwards and eventually hit by the Surtees by Lunger. Four drivers try to rescue Lauda from the fire, but he remains trapped in the flames for about forty seconds. Lauda emerges from his car with severe burns to his face and hands, and is forced to lie down on the track before being taken to a hospital. Despite his disfigurement and lung injuries, Lauda returns behind the wheel just 6 weeks after the accident and ends the season as if nothing had happened!

Case 2


When Lauda went off track he lost his AGV-helmet. It was found after the accident. Although structurally sound, the helmet also suffered damage from the fire and the visor has melted. An investigation will not be able to determine why it did not remain on the miraculous driver’s head. With the permission of the Lauda family, this helmet will be auctioned this weekend by Bonhams during the Miami Grand Prix. The price is estimated between $50,000 and $60,000 (€46,932-65,318), the proceeds of which will be partially donated to UNICEF.

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The article is in Dutch

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