Niki Lauda was a Formula One (F1) driver from Austria. He was often referred to as “King Rat” or “Super Rat” and was also an aviation entrepreneur. He won the F1 World Driver’s Championship three times, in 1975, 1977, and 1984. He won these championships while driving for Ferrari and McLaren, making him the only driver in sport history to have done so. The 70-year-old Lauda passed away in his sleep on May 20, 2019, after a period of illness.
There’s no doubt that Niki Lauda was a legend in the racing world. But what was his net worth at the time of his death? How much did he earn during his career? And how did he manage to make such a large fortune?
In this article, we’ll take a look at Niki Lauda’s net worth and how he made his money and explore more about the man himself.
What was Niki Lauda net worth?
Niki Lauda’s net worth at the time of his death was an estimated $210 million. He made his fortune through a combination of his successful racing career, his work as an aviation entrepreneur, and his various business ventures.
|$ 210 million
|Salary from Williams
|$ 20 million
|$ 110 million
|Loans and liabilities
Table of Contents
“The two lives of Niki Lauda”
Niki Lauda endorsements
During his career, Niki Lauda had deals with some of the biggest names in the automotive and racing world. He was a brand ambassador for Puma, a German sportswear company, and he also had endorsement deals with Shell, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and other brands
Here are some of the key aspects you should know about Niki Lauda and his overall wealth:
- Niki Lauda was a successful Formula One driver who won three World Championships.
- He was also an aviation entrepreneur and had various business ventures.
- At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated to be $210 million.
- He made his fortune through a combination of his racing career, business ventures, and endorsement deals.
- He was a brand ambassador for Puma and had deals with Shell, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and other brands.
- He breathed his last on 20th May 2019.
Lean more about Niki Lauda
Now that we know more about Niki Lauda’s net worth, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the man himself.
|Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda
|Date of Birth
|February 22nd, 1949
Niki Lauda was born into a family of wealthy paper industrialists in Vienna, Austria on February 22, 1949. He showed little potential at school and was not interested in pursuing his family’s business. However, he was determined to become a racing driver.
Lauda designed a fake school diploma to show his parents and convince them to pay for his first car, a VW. However, on his very first day out with the car he crashed into a Mini Cooper. He then swapped his car with the wreck along with a burden of a debt of £1750. He later swapped the wreck after necessary repairs with the 1300cc Mini Cooper S of Fritz Baumgartner, a local racing driver and was left with a debt of £650.
Early on, he raced a Mini, then Formula Vee, before switching to private cars such as Chevrons and Porsches.
Lauda borrowed money in 1971 to enter the Formula Two circuit, and he soon joined the Formula One team. He borrowed money once more from a bank in 1973 to join British Racing Motors (BRM). As a result of his performance at that year’s Monaco Grand Prix, Niki caught Enzo Ferrari’s attention, and he joined the Ferrari team in 1974. Following his debut for Ferrari, Lauda won the Spanish Grand Prix and finished second in the Argentine Grand Prix.
In 1975, he won four races in the new Ferrari 312T, then finished third in the Italian Grand Prix and first in the US Grand Prix. Niki won four and finished second in the first six races of the 1976 season. Due to the Ferrari team appealing James Hunt’s victory and Hunt being disqualified, he was named the winner of the British Grand Prix two months after the race.
An unfortunate event unfolded in the 1976 German Grand Prix when Lauda’s car caught fire. Lauda inhaled the hot toxic fumes before fellow driver Arturo Merzario released him, causing his head to be severely scorched, as well as his lungs and blood to be damaged. Despite being conscious after the accident, Niki went into a coma after being taken to the hospital.
Despite his injuries, Lauda miraculously recovered, and once he had recovered, he wore a red hat to hide his considerable skull scarring. Several weeks after the tragic accident, he returned to racing, finishing fourth in the Italian Grand Prix.
His departure from the Ferrari team happened during the 1977 season, and he joined the Brabham-Alfa Romeo team the next year. He announced during practice for the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix that he would not continue “the silliness of going around in circles” and would retire immediately. In 1982, he came out of retirement after being offered a $3 million salary by the McLaren team. He won the 1982 Long Beach Grand Prix and 1984 Monaco Grand Prix before breaking his wrist during the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix.
In 1985, Niki announced his retirement from racing. After retiring, he had non-racing responsibilities with many Formula One teams, including a consultancy post with the Ferrari team in 1993 and a non-executive chairman role with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team in 2012. Lauda was elected into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 2005, the Austrian post office recognised him with a stamp.
Here’s a highlight of Niki’s amazing career in F1 and how he reached the heights:
- Niki Lauda was born into a wealthy family of industrialists in Vienna, Austria in 1949.
- Despite coming from a wealthy background, Niki was determined to become a racing driver.
- He started racing in Formula Vee and later moved on to private cars such as Chevrons and Porsches.
- In 1971, he entered the Formula Two circuit and soon joined the Formula One team.
- He caught Enzo Ferrari’s attention in 1974 and joined the Ferrari team.
- He won four races in the new Ferrari 312T in 1975.
- In 1976, he had an accident at the German Grand Prix which left him with severe injuries.
- Despite his injuries, he returned to racing and went on to win the 1982 Long Beach Grand Prix and 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.
- He retired from racing in 1985 but continued to work with many Formula One teams in a non-racing capacity.
Favorite quotes from Niki Lauda
Here are some of our favorite quotes by Niki on life & F1:
“There is no friendship out there. When you race, you have to fight”
“The less you talk, the more time you have for the essential things”
“From success, you learn absolutely nothing. From failure and setbacks conclusions can be drawn. That goes for your private life as well as your career”
“To make a decision you need to be in a perfect environment: you have to be motivated and surrounded by the right people”
His quotes inspire us to be better people and to never give up on our dreams.
What caused his death?
His reason of death has not been disclosed, despite the fact that he received a lung transplant eight months before he died.
He went to Vienna for the surgery, and doctors there told him that he had “severe lung disease.” Since he got a new lung, the 70-year-recovery old’s has been slowed by things like getting the flu.
He was moved to a private clinic earlier this month so that he could get dialysis for his kidney problems. It wasn’t meant to be and Lauda died peacefully with his family by his side.
What else did he own?
Now that we know how much Niki Lauda was worth, let’s take a look at some of the other things he owned.
Niki Lauda cars
Niki Lauda had an impressive car collection which featured the most iconic models of all time:
- Mercedes-AMG GT S
- Mercedes G-Class
- Land Rover Defender
- Mercedes GLE Coupe
Niki Lauda house
The legendary F1 start had a house in Ibiza, where he spent as much time as he could. As we know, the island is a hotspot for celebrities and the wealthy, so it’s no surprise that Niki had a property there.
Frequently asked questions
How much did Niki Lauda earn in a year in F1?
How rich was Niki Lauda?
Why was Niki Lauda so rich?
Where did Niki Lauda get his money?
Was Niki Lauda a billionaire?
Niki Lauda net worth compared to active Formula 1 drivers
Niki Lauda was one of the highest-paid drivers in Formula One during his career, earning an estimated $20 million a year from salary and endorsements. In comparison, the highest-paid driver in Formula One today is Lewis Hamilton, who earns an estimated $40 million a year.
If we take into account some other factors, such as inflation and the current prize money structure in Formula One, it is safe to say that Niki Lauda was earning a comparable salary to today’s top drivers.
So, there you have it! This is everything you need to know about Niki Lauda’s wealth. From his successful career in Formula One to his other business ventures, it’s no wonder he was one of the richest drivers in history. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on forever. He was truly one of the greats and will be remembered as one of the richest Formula One drivers of all time