Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Niki Lauda's career: driver, legend, businessman

Three-time Formula One world champion Lauda died at the age of 70

The life and times of Niki Lauda, who has died at the age of 70:

1949: Andreas Nikolaus Lauda born on February 22 in Vienna, Austria.

1968: Without telling his parents, who disapprove of motor racing, Lauda wins his first race in a Mini.

1971: Takes out a loan to buy a seat in the new March team in Formula Two.

1971: Promoted to March Formula One team. Makes grand prix debut in Austria on August 15.

1973: Takes another loan to buy his way into BRM team.

1974: Gets a huge break when former BRM teammate Clay Regazzoni recommends him to Ferrari. Lauda finishes second in Argentina on Ferrari debut.

1974: Enjoys his first grand prix victory in Spain on April 28 in his fourth race for Ferrari.

1975: Emerges as Formula One's star driver as he becomes world champion for the first time, winning five of 14 grands prix and taking nine pole positions.


Niki Lauda's career in pictures


1976: Suffers horrific burns and lung damage in a fiery crash at the Nurburgring and receives last rites in hospital. Miraculously misses only two races and is pipped to the title by James Hunt.

1977: Wins his second world championship with Ferrari with consistent podium finishes and victories in South Africa and the Netherlands.

1978: Joins the Bernie Ecclestone-owned Brabham team for a reported $1 million salary.

1979: Retires from the sport during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in September, saying he "no longer wishes to drive round in circles" for the struggling Brabham outfit.

1979: Founds Lauda Air, his first foray into the aviation industry.

1982: Returns to racing with McLaren.

1984: Becomes world champion for a third time by the smallest of margins - half a point over teammate Alain Prost.

1985: Records the last of 25 grand prix wins in the Netherlands and retires for good.

1991: Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashes in Thailand on May 26 killing all 223 people aboard.

1993: Returns to Formula One as a consultant for Ferrari.

2001-02: Appointed team principal for Jaguar.

2002: Sells Lauda Air to Austrian Airlines.

2004: Creates low-cost carrier Niki, which he sells to Air Berlin in 2011.

2012: Appointed non-executive chairman of Mercedes F1 and is instrumental in bringing in Lewis Hamilton to spark a run of five consecutive world championships.

2018: Has emergency lung transplant in August.

2019: Dies peacefully in his sleep on May 20.

Updated: May 21, 2019 11:29 AM



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