DEAD: Niki Lauda (aged 70)
Austrian former Formula 1 racing driver
Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda (22 February 1949 – 20 May 2019) was an Austrian Formula One driver, a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion, winning in 1975, 1977 and 1984; and an aviation entrepreneur. He was the only driver in F1 history to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren, the sport’s two most successful constructors. He is considered by some as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. More recently an aviation entrepreneur, he founded and ran three airlines (Lauda Air, Niki, and Laudamotion). He was also a Bombardier Business Aircraft brand ambassador. He was also a consultant for Scuderia Ferrari and team manager of the JaguarFormula One racing team for two years. He worked as a pundit for German TV during Grand Prix weekends and acted as non-executive chairman of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. Lauda owned 10% of the team.
Lauda suffered extensive scarring from the burns to his head, losing most of his right ear as well as the hair on the right side of his head, his eyebrows, and his eyelids. He chose to limit reconstructive surgery to replacing the eyelids and getting them to work properly. After the accident he always wore a cap to cover the scars on his head. He arranged for sponsors to use the cap for advertising.
DEATH: Lauda died in his sleep on 20 May 2019 in Vienna following a period of ill health, at the age of 70.