'Rush' the movie – A promotional image for the new Formula One film "Rush." Australian actor Chris Hemsworth plays the hedonistic James Hunt (left) while Daniel Bruhl plays his on-track nemesis Niki Lauda.
Bitter rivals, best of friends – Lauda (left) and Hunt seen here during their heyday in the 1970s. Their battle during the 1976 season is one of motorsport's most compelling dramas and has now been dramatized in "Rush" -- which was released this September.
The playboy – McLaren driver Hunt poses before the 1976 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. The Briton, who died of a heart attack in 1993 aged 45, was one of F1's great characters. He earned the nickname "Hunt the Shunt" for his habit of crashing into fellow competitors.
The perfectionist – By contrast, Austrian Lauda had a meticulous nature on and off the racetrack. The clash of personalities made for a compelling rivalry on and off the track during the 1976 season.
Lauda's crash at the Nurburgring at the beginning of August was the defining moment of the 1976 season. He suffered horrific burns and nearly lost his life but somehow found the courage to return to the track at Monza just 43 days later. The Ferrari driver conquered his fears and finished fourth to the amazement of everyone and the delight of the Tifosi.
'Rush' world premiere, London: Niki Lauda – Lauda attends the world premiere of "Rush" at London's Leicester Square. "I was happy to stay alive," he says of the crash at the Nurburgring. "Normally you get killed in this kind of accident. Then it was clear that the challenge now is to see can you ever comeback ... So I fought my way back five weeks later in Monza. I only had Hunt as a target and make sure he will not win the championship."
Ron Howard – Lauda's return to the racetrack at Monza took "courage in its rawest form," says "Rush" director Ron Howard. "Both (Hunt and Lauda) were so truthful and so competitive. They just did things their way. And they would have scars of some of those decisions but they also got to own their own triumphs. You have to admire that. To me, that's the nobility of the story."
Jenson Button – Current McLaren driver Jenson Button also attended the London premiere. Lauda's comeback was "amazing," the 2009 world champion said. "It's obvious how tough he found it ... You are going to be (scared) after a massive, scary incident. Things have changed in terms of safety over the last 40 years but there are still dangers involved. We understand that as drivers. As soon as you step into the cockpit you know that."