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Niki Lauda Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (19)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 22 February 1949Vienna, Austria
Birth NameAndreas Nikolaus Lauda
Nickname The Rat
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born to a wealthy family in Vienna, Niki Lauda did not use the conventional methods of a man his means to become a world champion race driver. Far from it, his family disapproved and refused to finance his career, but Lauda plodded on, racing in the lesser ranks before getting his first break in Formula 1 with March. After a couple of fruitless seasons in F1, he caught the attention of legendary car builder Enzo Ferrari, and was soon driving for the famed "Prancing Horse." Lauda came close to winning the World Championship in 1974, but secured the coveted title the next year with a stellar season. Lauda was well on his way to winning again in 1976, but was nearly killed in a fiery crash at Nurburgring, Germany. In nothing short of a miracle, Lauda was back racing in six weeks despite being scarred in the face from his burns, yet nearly won the title, losing by only a single point to James Hunt. Lauda recaptured the F1 world title in 1977, raced one more year before announcing his retirement in 1978, to devote more time to his fledgling Lauda Air. His retirement was short as he came back to race, this time for McLaren, in 1982. With McLaren, Lauda won his third and final championship in 1984, and retired for good in 1985 with 25 career wins and the admiration of the racing world. He is the founder, CEO and occasional pilot at Lauda Air, which is the second largest commercial airlines in Austria, and is a consultant for Ferrari.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ken Severson

Spouse (2)

Birgit Wetzinger (September 2008 - present) (2 children)
Marlene Knaus (1976 - 1996) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Wears a Parmalat (Italian dairy) baseball cap at all times to cover his burn scars from his auto accident in 1976.

Trivia (8)

Won 25 career races in Formula 1 World Championship. Won 24 pole positions in Formula 1 World Championship. Father of Lukas & Matthias. Founder of Lauda Air in 1978. Lauda Air is Austria's second largest commercial airlines. Often pilots Boeing 737 & 747 jets at Lauda Air.
He was also an advisor of the Ferrari F1 team and a team boss of the Jaguar team
The only man to win a race in an F1 car fitted with a fan to generate down force.
He and his first wife have two children: Lucas (b.1979) and Mathias (b.1981).
Has twin children with wife Birgit named Max and Mia (b. September 6th 2009).
Has a son named Christoph (b. 1982).
Stated in an interview, that a "certain company" pays him over a million Euros a year to have their logo on the hat he wears over his burns, when he's in public.
Raced in Formula One for a total of 13 years.

Personal Quotes (19)

[re making of Rush (2013)] I had been approached before, but the ideas always seemed to me boring. Peter Morgan and Ron Howard - these are the right people. Ron Howard had no idea about racing. He was like a little kid, with unbelievable enthusiasm. But the story comes very well across.
[re his injuries after famous 1976 accident] At the time I was upset by how people reacted. They wouldn't look me in the eye, which I thought was rude. But I have to say I was startled by the movie and I understand now. [Rival racer James] Hunt used to say to me: 'Niki, you're lucky. Some people are just born ugly, but you have the excuse of an accident.'
I always go extreme ways.
There are more important things in life than the world championship, like staying alive.
A lot of people criticize Formula 1 as an unnecessary risk. But what would life be like if we only did what is necessary?
This aircraft tops everything. All the others look old as compared to this one.
The alliance with air Berlin is attractive for me. I can use the whole sales network of the air Berlin and 24 percent of my own airline at air Berlin sold.
You appreciate that it is very easy to die and you have to arrange your life to cope with that reality.
I've been through a lot and I realize the future can't be controlled. I'm not worried. You can always learn to overcome difficulties.
I employ 20 people in Vienna. The other 130 coworkers are pilots and flight companions. The Overhead is limited with me. Reduces naturally the costs of my fliers.
I want to bring passengers on my airplanes to present to them my product.
Vienna is the gate to Eastern Europe.
In Germany air became generally accepted Berlin in this area. It operated with 45 airplanes within the Low Cost range from Germany, and is one the most successful carriers in Europe.
Airlines go in the long run at the competition to reason. For the passenger the competition is good, because each competitor tries to undercut the other one.
Happiness is an enemy. It weakens you. Suddenly, you have something to lose.
The crucial point is always the own cost structure. Therefore I created a Low Cost alliance with air Berlin.
Running an airline is a normal job. Racing is more.
Giving up is something a Lauda doesn't do.
Jean Todt's system will never succeed, not even with Michael Schumacher

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