Austrian F1 legend passes away aged 70 after undergoing kidney dialysis. The three-time world champion Lauda took the title for Ferrari in 1975, 1977 and for McLaren 1984 becoming the only man to have won the driver’s title for both Ferrari and McLaren.
Here is a look at the life and times of Niki Lauda, who has died at the age of 70:
All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away. Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history. #RIPNiki pic.twitter.com/Ndd9ZEfm6B
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 21, 2019
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
1976: Suffers horrific burns and lung damage in a fiery crash at the Nuerburgring and is read the 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