Niki Lauda was an Austrian former Formula One racing champion who died in 2019 with a net worth of $200 million. Despite showing great talent at an early age, he did not completely shine in Formula One until 1974. Lada took first place in his maiden race and would go on to dominate for the following few seasons.
In 1976, he was in a near-fatal collision that left him horribly deformed, but he returned to racing six weeks later and raced the balance of the season. Niki’s ailments made it difficult for him to finish races, but despite his problems, he finished second in the season. He finished first the next year, but his relationship with Ferrari, his sponsoring team, had worsened, and he switched teams.
Niki Lauda, a former Formula One racing champion from Austria, died in 2019 with a net worth of USD 200 million. When Lauda joined Brabham-Alfa Romeo in 1978, his yearly salary was USD 1 million. After inflation, that corresponds to over USD 4 million now. After a lengthy absence, he returned to racing with McLaren in 1982. His McLaren deal paid USD 3 million per year, which is now USD 12 million.
Niki Lauda pulled out a bank loan in 1971 to purchase his way into the Formula Two circuit, and he was quickly promoted to the Formula One squad. In 1973, he borrowed money from a bank once more to join the British Racing Motors (BRM) squad. When Niki raced in that year’s Monaco Grand Prix, he piqued Enzo Ferrari’s interest, and he joined the Ferrari team in 1974. Lauda finished second in his debut race for Ferrari, the Argentine Grand Prix, and won the Spanish Grand Prix the following year. In 1975, he won four races in the new Ferrari 312T, then finished third in the Italian Grand Prix and first in the US Grand Prix.
Niki won four and finished second in the first six races of the 1976 season. Due to the Ferrari team appealing James Hunt’s victory and Hunt being disqualified, he was named the winner of the British Grand Prix two months after the event. During the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda’s vehicle went off the circuit and caught fire after colliding with an embankment. Niki Lauda’s head was severely scorched, and his lungs and blood were harmed as a result of Lauda breathing hot poisonous fumes before being released by fellow driver Arturo Merzario.
Niki Lauda was aware immediately after the accident, but he went into a coma after being taken to the hospital. Lauda miraculously survived his injuries, and after recovering, he began wearing a red hat to conceal the considerable scars on his skull. Six weeks after the tragic collision, he returned to racing and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Prix.
Niki Lauda married Marlene Knaus in 1976, and they had two boys, Lukas (born in 1979) and Mathias (born in 1981), before splitting up in 1991. Mathias took after his father and became a racing car driver, while Lukas supervised his brother’s career. Lauda married Birgit Wetzinger, a flight attendant for his company, in 2008. In 2009, the couple had twins Mia and Max, and Niki had a son named Christoph with an ex-girlfriend. Niki Lauda had a kidney transplant from his brother, Florian, in 1997. Birgit gave a kidney in 2005 when the kidney he received from Florian failed. Niki had a lung transplant in 2018.