After the premiere of Rush, which focuses on the 1976 World Championship battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, Lauda admitted that he was shocked, having previously been unaware of the details of the battle to save his life following a near-fatal crash at the Nurburgring in ’76.
The Austrian narrowly survived the crash, from which he had to be pulled from the burning cockpit by fellow racers, and left him with serious facial burns. However, despite the severity of the incident, Lauda was back on track after just two races to keep his title hopes alive. The season ended, however, with Lauda one point behind Hunt who claimed his single World Championship.
Ron Howard’s new movie, Rush, which focuses on the Championship battle, had its premiere in London last night. Speaking after the movie, Lauda admitted he was shocked at the details of his crash and subsequent fight for life.
“The movie is done very realistically and I, too, was shocked when I saw the hospital scenes, how they treated me, what they had to do to keep me alive. So even the movie for me was a shock in one way.”
Lauda was joined on the red carpet by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Daniel Bruhl who plays Lauda in the movie and Chris Hemsworth who plays Hunt, McLaren drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button, the latter driving a replica of Hunt’s 1976 McLaren, and James Hunt’s son, Tommy, among many other famous faces.
James Hunt tragically died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 45 but his son, Tommy, was happy with his father’s portrayal in the movie and said “There were bits of that involved in dad’s life. That’s part of who dad was – that’s partly why he was so famous and popular.”
Rush is released in the UK and Ireland on September 13th.