Niki Lauda Net Worth (2023): Salary, Income, Earnings

Niki Lauda’s net worth at the time of his death in 2019 was an impressive $200 million. The Austrian Formula One legend’s financial success was not only a result of his illustrious racing career but also stemmed from his keen business sense. Alongside his 25 race wins and three championships in 171 races, Lauda established his own private airline, Lauda Air, and founded another airline named Niki, later merging it with Air Berlin.

His ventures beyond the racetrack and his contributions to the aviation industry played a significant role in accumulating his substantial net worth. Niki Lauda’s legacy continues to be celebrated as an inspiration to aspiring racers and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name:Niki Lauda
Net Worth:$100 Million
Monthly Salary:$120 Thousand
Annual Income:$7 Million
Source of Wealth:Race car driver, Actor, Businessperson

Learn more: Richest Race Car Drivers in the World

The Rise to Fame

Lauda’s early racing career was met with disapproval from his family, who preferred he did not pursue a career in auto racing. Nevertheless, Niki’s passion for speed and determination led him to enter the Formula Two circuit in 1971. Catching the attention of Enzo Ferrari after a standout performance in the Monaco Grand Prix, Lauda was signed to the prestigious Ferrari team in 1974.

In his first race for Ferrari, the Argentine Grand Prix, Niki finished an impressive second, setting the stage for his future domination in the sport. That year, he also secured a victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, proving his worth as a force to be reckoned with.

The Near-Fatal Crash and Comeback

The year 1976 would forever change Niki Lauda’s life. During the German Grand Prix, his car crashed, burst into flames, and left him with severe burns and lung damage. Miraculously, Lauda survived, but the accident left him permanently disfigured. Undeterred, he made a courageous return to racing just six weeks after the horrific crash, finishing fourth at the Italian Grand Prix.

Despite facing tremendous physical and mental challenges, Niki’s determination saw him end the season in second place. The following year, he clinched the championship title, but his relationship with Ferrari had soured, leading him to switch teams.

Triumphs and Retirements

Lauda’s career continued with remarkable success, earning him a total of 25 wins and three championships in 171 races. In 1979, after a brief retirement, he made a stunning comeback with McLaren, securing victories in races like the Long Beach Grand Prix and Monaco Grand Prix. He ultimately retired from racing for good after the 1985 season.

Niki Lauda

Salary Highlights

Niki Lauda earned substantial salaries during his racing career. When he signed with Brabham-Alfa Romeo in 1978, he received a remarkable annual salary of $1 million, which, when adjusted for inflation, would be equivalent to approximately $4 million today.

After a brief retirement, Lauda made a comeback in 1982 with McLaren, and his deal with the team paid an impressive $3 million per year, equivalent to around $12 million per year in today’s terms.

Lauda’s remarkable racing talent and achievements not only secured him a place among the Formula One greats but also brought significant financial rewards throughout his illustrious career.

Beyond the Racetrack: Entrepreneurial Ventures

Niki Lauda’s net worth was not solely built on his success as a race car driver. Throughout his life, he demonstrated a keen business sense, leading him to establish his own private airline called Lauda Air in 1979.

Later selling it to Austrian Airlines in 1999, he founded another airline named Niki, which merged with Air Berlin in 2011. Always adventurous, Lauda even piloted planes well into his 60s.

Personal Life and Legacy

Niki Lauda’s personal life was no less eventful than his professional one. He married Marlene Knaus in 1976, with whom he had two sons before divorcing in 1991. Niki’s son, Mathias, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a race car driver, while Lukas managed his brother’s career.

In 2008, Niki married Birgit Wetzinger, who worked as a flight attendant for his airline. Together, they welcomed twins, Mia and Max, in 2009. Additionally, Niki had a son named Christoph with an ex-girlfriend.

Tragedy struck when Niki underwent a kidney transplant in 1997, receiving a kidney from his brother, Florian. However, the transplant ultimately failed, and in 2005, his wife, Birgit, selflessly donated one of her kidneys to save his life. Niki’s health struggles continued, and in 2018, he underwent a lung transplant.

The racing world mourned the loss of a true icon when Niki Lauda passed away on May 20, 2019, at the age of 70. His legacy lives on, both in the hearts of racing fans worldwide and as a non-executive director and 10% owner of the Mercedes Formula One team, a role he held from 2012 until his passing.

Niki Lauda Quotes

My life is worth more than a title.


People always think that the worst time of my life must have been after the German Grand Prix crash in 1976, which put me in a coma and left me with severe burns. But it wasn’t.


Running an airline is the most difficult job in the world. Racing was more dangerous for my life.


There are some good traditions in our culture, one of which is that men dance with women. Soon we will reach the stage where we will all have to publicly apologise for being heterosexual.


The idea that people would work on themselves, who hadn’t had an accident – I can’t stand plastic surgery.

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