As this documentary makes clear, Formula One champion Niki Lauda’s life was defined by one month in 1976. After a near-fatal crash at the German Grand Prix, it took 33 days for him to recover and get back into the driving seat for the Italian Grand Prix.
Seeing the accident in the film’s opening sequence, it’s still astonishing that he survived the fireball at all, let alone ever raced again. But in a recent interview Lauda reflects on the maniacal determination that motivated him back then, for good and ill.
A more in-depth portrait of Lauda, a genuine sporting legend, might have made this crowdfunded film more accessible. But instead it deviates into a fact-packed history of Grand Prix safety measures. Icons old and new, from Jackie Stewart and Jochen Mass to Mark Weber and Nico Rosberg, make lucid contributions, alongside vintage archive material. The doc lays out a sombre assessment of the number of drivers who died before we edged towards the reduced risks of the sport today. It’s more functional than inspiring, but petrolheads won’t feel short-changed.