History tends to paint him as the wily pragmatist who calculated his way to a pair of Ferrari world titles in the mid 1970s - a kind of prototype Michael Schumacher.
Those labels alone do Niki Lauda a monumental disservice, however. Clinical? Oh yes, certainly. But also searingly fast - a match for anyone at his mid-decade zenith, and almost certainly on a curve that was still rising... until the Nurburgring 1976.
The blazing crash, head-melting scars and awe-inspiring recovery are the stuff of Lauda's legend, though his contribution to Ferrari's myth-making in the team's fourth decade was already of epic proportions, even before that fateful meeting with the barriers at Bergwerk.