He saved Niki Lauda: the sad story of one of the heroes of August 1, 1976

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The sad story of Harald Ertl

Harald Ertl è was one of the drivers who saved Niki Lauda from the Nurburgring fire: forty-seven years ago, on August 1, 1976, the reigning world champion wentò to crash into the guard-rail of the German track, his Ferrari caught fire and only the courage of four colleagues, Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger, Arturo Merzario and precisely Ertl, prevented the Austrian from dying.

The previous year Ertl, also an Austrian, had managed to make his Formula 1 debut in a Hesketh, thanks largely to sponsorship with Warsteiner. In Great Britain, also in 1975, he achieved his best career result, finishing seventh. The bearded man’s Formula 1 career ended in 1980, at the German Grand Prix.

Ertl died in a plane crash on April 7, 1982, while traveling with his family. His wife and son survived, it was unfortunately not so for Harald, who was not even 34 years old, his brother-in-law and a niece.




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