Niki Lauda was an Austrian Formula One driver who had also owned the business Aviation. The race driver had also been the only driver in F1 history to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren. Throughout his race-driving career, he had won three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion. Additionally, he founded three airlines: Lauda Air, Niki, and Lauda.
Furthermore, he had married twice first Marlene Knaus and then Birgit Wetzinger who donated Niki a kidney in 2005. Unfortunately, he passed away in his sleep on 20 May 2019 at the age of 70. Let us scroll to read about his professional life, relationship, and net worth.
Caption: The Formula One race driver, Niki Lauda.
Niki Lauda: Bio, Family, & Career
The late-race driver was born on 22 February 1949 as Andreas Nikolaus Lauda in Vienna, Austria. He was born into a wealthy paper manufacturing family and his paternal grandfather Hans Lauda was a Viennese-born industrialist. He was born as the son of his parents: Ernst-Peter Lauda and no information about his mother, Elisabeth. Moreover, he has also a brother Florian Lauda.
He had the nationality of Vienna and belongs to the Viennese-native ethnicity. Regarding his education, he had completed his college studies as well but had not provided information on it. However, from a young age, he wanted to be a race driver against his family’s will.
He started out with a Mini and later moved on to Formula Vee. In 1972, he was promoted to the F1 team, however, he drove for March in F1 and F2. Furthermore, his early 1970s began with a disastrous start. In 1974, his team ended up with a second place in his debut race at the season-opening of the Argentine Grand Prix. After participating in several races and winning several accolades and honors. He announced his retirement in the mid-1980s.
Following his retirement, he began to venture into various business tenures. In 2013, he along with James Hunt was dramatized in the Film Rush where Lauda’s role was portrayed by Daniel Bruhl. Also, he had appeared in an episode of Mayday titled “Niki Lauda: Testing the Limits.
He had also ventured into writing and wrote five books including My Years With Ferrari (1978), The New Formula One: A Turbo Age (1984), and Meine Story (titled To Hell and Back in some markets) (1986). In 1993, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Niki Lauda: Personal Life & Wife
Coming over to his personal life, he has married twice and divorced once. He first married his first wife the Chilean-Austrian Marlene Knaus in 1976. The duo’s relationship didn’t last long and finalized their divorced in 1991. From their marriage, they welcomed two children: Mathias, a race driver himself, and Lukas, who acted as Mathias’s manager.
After his divorce, in 2008, he married a flight attendant for his airline, Birgit Wetzinger. The duo welcomed twins from their marriage in September 2009. Before that, his second wife had donated a kidney to him in 2005 after the failure receiving a kidney from his brother in 1997 failed. Additionally, Birgit stayed with him until his death.
Caption: Niki Lauda and wife Birgit Wetzinger.
At the age of 70, he died in his sleep on 20 May 2019 at the University Hospital of Zürich. Additionally, he had been undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney problems during his illness period. At the time of his demise, he had died peacefully surrounded by his family member according to their family-issued statements.
How Much Did Niki Lauda Earn Throughout His Career?
As of 2022, Michael Schumacher’s net worth is approximately $800 million making him the richest racing driver in the world. Moreover, it is reported that he had a salary of $1 million after signing with Brabham-Alfa Romeo in 1978.
At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of around $100 million. Also, he made an immense amount of money from his founding airline companies. He initially owned a private airline called Lauda Air. After selling it to Austrian Airlines in 1999, he again an airline Niki in 2003 which later merged with Air Berlin in 2011.
Niki Lauda: Social Media Profiles & Body Measurements
Even though he has passed away, there is an unverified Instagram account in the memory of his @nikilaudaf1 having 47.5k followers. Apart from this, we can’t see his name has an account on Facebook or Twitter.
At the time of his demise, he had a slim body type with a height of 5 feet 7 inches or 1.71 meters. His body weighs around 65 kg with unknown body measurements of chest or waist. He had white-silver hair color and light blue eyes color.