MAY 7, 2006

A pig's ear of a story

Thirty years ago Niki Lauda crashed at Bergwerk during the German Grand Prix. The Austrian was trapped in the flaming wreck and had to be rescued by fellow drivers Arturo Merzario, Brett Lunger, Harald Ertl and Guy Edwards, who stopped and pulled Lauda from the remains of his car. He had suffered terrible burns but prompt action by the Ferrari team to have him flown to a hospital in Mannheim that was equipped to deal withy serious burns, saved Lauda's life, although he was seriously scarred. Lauda's recovery is now part of F1 folklore and the man himself has been an inspiration to generations. On Saturday afternoon Bernie Ecclestone, Lauda, Merzario, Karl-Heinz Zimmermann (an Austrian restaurateur and caterer to Ecclestone) and Matthias Lauda (son of Niki) went to the site of the crash, had some photos taken and enjoyed a drink to mark the accident.

Zimmermann is renowned for his unusual sense of humour and had obtained a couple of pig's ears which Lauda pretended to find in the grass beside the road.