Niki Lauda in Balaclava

The years I photographed Formula One coincided with the return of Niki Lauda.  Nearly killed in a horrific accident at the Nurburgring in 1976 he still wore the scars of the fire.  When I first saw him in 1982 he had already won two world championships and his fierce intelligence and driving skill were legendary.  I found his intensity magnetic.  Once I gave him some photographs I had taken. He said nothing, looked at the pictures briefly and handed them to an aide.  I continued to photograph him whenever I could and he neither acknowledged my presence nor avoided me.  A couple of years later Deborah Gregg introduced us.  He looked right through me and I had a sense that he was analyzing and classifying.  Again, he didn’t speak a word.  I got the slightest nod of recognition and he turned away.

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