A permanent seat for the guardian angel.
That’s what you would call a good eye: as Hans Herrmann exits the blind right-hand corner, he sees the closed railway crossing gate. The racing driver doesn’t hesitate, hits the top of his co-driver’s helmet to make sure that Herbert Linge also ducks his head – and then both barrel through at 160 km/h, clearing the bottom of the gate by mere millimetres. “Technically there should have been an official there waving a flag to warn us,” Herrmann recalls, but it doesn’t really sound resentful. The Swabian tells this anecdote, which took place during the 1954 Mille Miglia, as vividly as if it had just happened. “I was really lucky back then,” he says. Not just in this legendary Italian road race. The sportsman seemed to have a guardian angel next to him on other occasions as well. On 23 February 2013 “Hans in Luck”, as his friends have christened him, will turn 85 years old.
“Motor racing is my life,” says Hans Herrmann – he owes the fact that he didn’t lose his life to motor racing among other things to his wife.