Ferrari History: Niki Lauda took a relatively straightforward first Driver's title in 1975. In 1976 Lauda's second successive title seemed inevitable until he crashed in the rain on the first lap at the Nürburgring, suffering severe burns. He was given the last rites but unbelievably was back in his Ferrari six weeks later. He lost the championship by a single point to James Hunt in heavy rain at the final round at Fuji in Japan when he pitted his car and refused to continue, declaring that the risk was too great and that from now on he would refuse to race under extreme conditions. Ferrari took on Gilles Villeneuve who from 1978 to his death in 1982 drove for the Italian team. He won six Grand Prix races in a short career at the highest level. In 1979, he finished second by four points in the championship to team-mate Jody Scheckter.