Three times F1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, who was himself of course severely burnt in a racing accident in 1976, has applauded the professionalism and restraint shown by Ferraris pit-crew following the fire that threatened to end Michael Schumacher's race during the Austrian GP.

Lauda, who was at the A1 Ring on Sunday, his home grand prix, told Swiss newspaper Blick: "It was sensational how Ferrari handled the incident. First, they had refuelling problems, and then the fire.

"Usually the Italians panic in such situations. This time they remained cool and solved it perfectly, just like Michael did in the car.

"Michael knew that his overalls would hold the fire much longer than the ones I had in my days," added Lauda, "He could have stayed in the cockpit for much longer before he would look like me."

Lauda's accident in 1976, at the Nurburgring in Germany, nearly killed the Austrian, and despite being left with acute burns, he returned to action just a few weeks later to continue fighting for the title. Lauda eventually finished the year in second position, losing out to James Hunt by one point. That though was almost immaterial, and Lauda's return earned him respect the world over, and rightly so.