Niki Lauda Biography – Niki Lauda Wiki
Niki Lauda born Andreas Nikolaus Lauda, was an Austrian Formula One driver, a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion, and an aviation entrepreneur.
Born Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda to a wealthy family in Vienna, he had been expected to follow his father into the paper manufacturing industry. Instead, he went into motorsport and joined Ferrari in 1974. He first won the F1 championship driving for Ferrari in 1975.
In the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring race track, Lauda collided with a barrier and his car went up in flames. He inhaled toxic fumes and suffered horrific burns that left him close to death and with permanent facial scaring. Nevertheless, he managed to race again just six weeks after the accident, taking fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix.
The 1976 race — and Lauda’s rivalry with British F1 driver James Hunt — was the subject of the acclaimed 2013 film “Rush” starring Australian actor Chris Hemsworth.
Lauda went on to win the F1 championship again in 1977. In 1979 he retired and turned to aviation, creating Lauda air. He was lured back to racing a few years later by a big offer from McLaren. He won the F1 championship for a third time in 1984, before retiring from the sport for good the next year.
Lauda founded three Austrian airlines: Lauda Air, Fly Niki, and Laudamotion. He also served as a non-executive chairman of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix.
Niki Lauda Age
He was born on 22 February 1949 in Vienna, Austria as Andreas Nikolaus Lauda. He died on 20 May 2019 aged 70.
Niki Lauda Wife
He was married to his first wife Marlene Knaus from 1976 to their divorce in 1991. They had two children. In 2008 he married Birgit Wetzinger, a flight attendant for his airline.
Niki Lauda Children
Lauda had two sons with first wife Marlene Knaus: Mathias Lauda, a race driver himself, and Lukas Lauda, who acted as Mathias’s manager. In September 2009, his second wife Birgit gave birth to twins.
Niki Lauda Death
Lauda died on Monday 20 May 2019 at University Hospital Zurich. His family said in a statement:
“His unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and remain unforgettable. His tireless drive, his straightforwardness and his courage remain an example and standard for us all. Away from the public gaze he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him very much.”
Toto Wolff, team principal of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas racing team, said in a statement:
“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport – he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside the cockpit. His passing leaves a void in Formula One. We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula One. He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense. iki, you are quite simple irreplaceable, there will never be another like you.”
The McLaren F1 team tweeted, “All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away. Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history.”
Niki Lauda Cause of Death
Niki Lauda’s cause of death was not revealed.
Niki Lauda Net Worth
Niki Lauda had an estimated net worth of $100 million.
Niki Lauda Nationality
He was of Austrian nationality.