Former Formula 1 driver and nonexecutive chairman of Mercedes, Niki Lauda watches the timing screens during practice for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 22, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/PAUL GILHAM
Former Formula 1 driver and nonexecutive chairman of Mercedes, Niki Lauda watches the timing screens during practice for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 22, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/PAUL GILHAM

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.

Niki Lauda, driving for Ferrari reveals his facial injuries after removing his helmet in the pit lane during qualifying for the 1987 British Grand Prix at the Siverstone Circuit, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, UK on Friday, July 10, 1987. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/BRYAN COLTON
Niki Lauda, driving for Ferrari reveals his facial injuries after removing his helmet in the pit lane during qualifying for the 1987 British Grand Prix at the Siverstone Circuit, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, UK on Friday, July 10, 1987. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/BRYAN COLTON

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.

Niki Lauda with the Ferrari 312T at the first US Grand Prix West held on March 28, 1976 in Long Beach, California. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/ ALVIS UPITIS
Niki Lauda with the Ferrari 312T at the first US Grand Prix West held on March 28, 1976 in Long Beach, California. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/ ALVIS UPITIS

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.

AFP