Austrian Formula One racer who won three F1 World Championships in 1975, 1977, and 1984. He became the first driver in F1 history to have been a champion for both Ferrari and McLaren. Also an aviation entrepreneur, he founded three airlines.
He was raised by a wealthy Austrian family who disapproved of his choice of racing as a career.
He was married to Marlene Knaus from 1976 to 1991. They raised two sons, Mathias and Lukas. Mathias became a professional racer and Lukas became Mathias's manager. Niki married Birgit Wetzinger in 2008. The couple welcomed twins in 2009, a boy and a girl.
He and reckless British racer James Hunt had a legendary rivalry in the 1970s.