Driver, legend, businessman: Niki Lauda’s career
Austrian ace survived horrific crash in 1976 after Grand Prix debut in 1971
Vienna — The life and times of Niki Lauda, who has died at the age of 70:
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.
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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 Prixes 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 SA and the Netherlands.
1978: Joins the Bernie Ecclestone-owned Brabham team for a reported $1m 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.