Iconic and legendary Austrian driver. Niki never was bashful about speaking his mind for better or worse. He led an amazing life, and his recovery from the aforementioned accident at the Nurburgring was nothing short of remarkable.
I saw an "Air Disasters" on Smithsonian channel when there was a Lauda Airlines crash. He worked for years to prove it was not pilot error but a mechanical problem that caused the crash and it helped air safety in the future. I gained a lot of respect for him after watching that.
From an interview with Niki... shows his kind of humour:
"Well, that was one of those american morningshows, they came to the Nürburgring, and such a woman, tall, blond, everything, wanted to interview me at the accident site. They all had said: Ui, he will cry for sure, that will be a very emotional moment! But I've taken a kipferl (kind of a croissant) from the hotel buffet and put it in the grass first. It starts: "Mister Lauda, how is it to be here ..." I say: "Just a moment!" And I go a few steps into the grass. She asks, "What are you doing?" I say, "Oh look, here's my ear!" That was done. She has lost her composure. They had to do everything again. "