Niki Lauda has been among the most courageous racing stars. Almost dead after an appalling accident, he made a comeback to the racing track when everyone thought that Lauda's career was over. Nikki won Formula 1 title in 1975, 1977 and 1984.
Nicholas Andreas Lauda, popularly known as Niki Lauda, was born on
February 22, 1949 in Vienna, Austria.
Nicholas was born in a wealthy family. However, he was not supported in
his endeavor of making a career in racing, for they thought Nikki doing
this would bring disrepute to them. But Nikki was sure that racing was
his future. To learn the tricks of racing, he got himself enrolled in
racing's school of hard knocks, paying for it with money borrowed from
He started his career in a Minni in 1968. His second stop of Formula Two
where he was quite successful. In 1971 he bought his way with a bank
loan into the fledgling March team as a Formula 2 driver. Thereafter he
was promoted to the F1 team. He drove for March in both F1 and F2 in
1972. However, the results were not favorable. Lauda took another bank
loan and bought his way into BRM team in 1973. His big break came when
one of his colleagues helped him to join Ferrari which paid him
sufficient amount to clear off his debt.
Lauda justified the expectations of his team mates with a second-place
finish in his début race for the team. He had hist first Formula
One victory in Spain and another in Holland. In 1975 season Niki emerged
victorious in Monaco, Belgium, Sweden, France and the USA to claim World
Championship. Lauda dominated the first half of the season in 1976.
However, he suffered a severe accident at the German Grand Prix. Only
with God's grace and will power, he survived the accident. However he
carried burn injuries and a damaged ear all his life. To hide the
injuries, he started wearing a red cap.
Post comeback Lauda decided to withdraw from 1976 championship citing
unsafe conditions, though he was leading the race at the time. This is
considered one of the bravest decisions ever. However, his employer
Ferrari was upset with his decision and even expressed it. Lauda
answered this criticism with winning the driving title in 1977. In 1978
Nikki finished fourth in the championship. There after his motivation
declined and he retired declaring that he was tired of driving around
the circles and would start his own business.
Financial needs forced Lauda to return to racing track in 1982. He
joined McLaren and won the Long Beach Grand Prix proving that he had not
forgotten his skills. He won a a third world championship in 1984. His
performance declined in 1985. Thereafter he again withdrew from the
Nikki Lauda has now become a successful entrepreneur. He was inducted
into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993.