Niki Lauda Net Worth
Niki Lauda is one of the most successful drivers in history. His accomplishments include driving for McLaren and Ferrari and winning three world championships. He was also a prominent aviation entrepreneur. A major part of his net worth comes from his racing career.
Born on February 22, 1949, in Vienna, Austria, Niki Lauda was the son of Elisbeth and Ernst-Peter Lauda. From his father’s side, he was a paper manufacturer, while his mother was a model. The family was rich. But it was not until Niki was 19 years old that he decided to leave home. Instead of going to school, he worked at odd jobs. However, he wanted to become a car racer, so he asked his father to support him.
In 1976, he married model Marlene Knaus. They had two children. While their marriage lasted for more than 15 years, they divorced in 1991. This was after he suffered severe burns in a racing accident.
Despite his disabilities, Niki still went on to be a great car racer. He won his first Formula One world championship in 1974. He subsequently won two more in 1977 and 1985. Later, he was also named as the Autosport International Racing Driver of the Year. He is the only driver to win championships for both Ferrari and McLaren.
In 1979, Niki Lauda founded his own airline, Lauda Air. In 1999, he sold it to Austrian Airlines. As a result, his net worth rose to over $100 million. Since then, he has been in business, managing and owning three Austrian airlines.
When he died in May 2019, Niki Lauda was 70. Although he was an athlete and an entrepreneur, he was a very controversial person. There was much discussion about his disabilities, and his involvement in controversial activities. Fortunately, he passed away peacefully.
Before he died, he reportedly had a total net worth of $200 million. His other earnings came from his writing and managing racing teams. He also earned money from his brand endorsement deals with F1 races.
During his career as a race car driver, he earned a large annual salary. Niki Lauda had a deal with McLaren that paid him around US$12 million a year.
When he was diagnosed with a kidney disease in 2005, Birgit Wetzinger donated a kidney to him. She was also a flight attendant for Niki. Afterwards, she gave birth to twins, Max and Mia.
After a brief retirement, Niki went back to racing in 1982. His popularity rose with the McLaren team. With his wins, his net worth grew.
In addition to his racing accomplishments, Niki was also a popular television commentator. He was interviewed on German TV networks. Also, Niki wrote five books. Among them are The Art and Science of Grand Prix Driving and Meine Story.
Though he was a highly popular and well-known figure in the motor racing world, he sometimes got into controversial activities. He was the subject of a documentary called “Niki Lauda: King of Kings” and appeared in a movie called Rush. These movies were nominated for a BAFTA Film Award.