More than the government crisis in Austria, we were stunned by the sad news of the death of Niki Lauda. The 70-year-old Formula One champion, pilot and founder of the aviation company, died on May 20th. He was not only the national hero of Austria, who inspired a whole generation, but also a great personality with an extraordinary fighting character and a kind heart.
Niki Lauda was born in Vienna in a family of influential industrialists. He bought his first own VW-Käfer Cabriolet of 1949, already in 15 years. He made his debut in the European series “Mini”, then began to compete in Formula Vee, then in the Porsche and Chevron series.
In the Formula 1 class Niki Lauda made his debut at the Austrian Grand Prix in 1971 at the eighth stage of the World Cup. Auto racing took place on August 15, 1971 on the Österreichring highway. In the 1976 season, despite a severe accident on the track in the German Nürburg, where the pilot was trapped in the wreckage of a burning car, suffered head burns and toxic poisoning, he managed to return to motor racing in only 6 weeks. Already next year he won the title again. Niki Lauda raced in the Formula 1 for the team March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham, McLaren. In 1975, 1977, 1984 he won a world champion title.
In 1979, Niki Lauda founded his first airline, Lauda Air, which was engaged in charter flights. In 1990 received an international concession to regular passenger lines. A serious problem to the company was a heavy plane crash in Thailand with many dead in 1991.
Niki Lauda himself led the investigation of the disaster and spent many hours on the simulator to find out the truth. The airline under the leadership of Niki Lauda worked until 1999 and in 2003 Lauda fully transferred the shares to the largest Austrian airline company – Austrian Airlines. In 2003 he founded another airline, Niki. At the end of 2015, Lauda acquired the Austrian airline Amira Air, specializing in business-class charter flights.
The extraordinary striving for victory and the reputation of a very honest person helped him never to give up, once again stand up to the starting position and continue the work he started.