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October 21: Niki Lauda wins his final F1 championship on this date in 1984


If there's any real quibble to aim at director Ron Howard's Formula 1 film "Rush," it's the domination of James Hunt in the advertising and posters — because the movie truly belongs to Niki Lauda. Lauda's exploits power the movie and make it a tale worth preserving, thanks to Daniel Brühl's depiction of the driven Austrian following his horrific burn injuries at the Nurburgring in 1976. On this date in 1984, Lauda wrote the final chapter to his F1 career. Following a two-year retirement, Lauda went back into F1 in 1982 as a way to prop up an airline he'd started; teaming with Alain Prost at McLaren in 1984, the duo dominated the season. On the final race, the Portuguese Grand Prix, Prost won but Lauda claimed second after starting 11th — enough to give him the season's championship over his teammate by half a point. And yes, third went to a young Ayrton Senna, creating a podium shot for the ages. Here's a taste of what Lauda accomplished that day:

Photo: McLaren