The three-time World Champion became a racing driver despite the disapproval of his wealthy family. Securing a large bank loan was his ticket to get into serious single-seat racing, after which, due to his raw speed and attention to detail, he quickly found himself at Ferrari in 1974. Credited for almost single-handedly dragging the famous Italian team out of mediocrity, Lauda won the 1975 title comprehensively before missing out on the ’76 crown due to missing two races in the season. Retired at the end of 1979, only to come back in 1982 with McLaren and win the ’84 crown by margin of just 0.5 points.
Lining up to take the start of the 1976 Italian GP just a month after suffering a near-fatal crash at the German GP where the attending priest had read him his last rites.