Andreas Nikolaus 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 widely considered one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. As an aviation entrepreneur, he founded and ran three airlines: Lauda Air, Niki, and Lauda. He was a Bombardier Business Aircraft brand ambassador. He was also a consultant for Scuderia Ferrari and team manager of the Jaguar Formula One racing team for two years. Afterwards, he worked as a pundit for German TV during Grand Prix weekends and acted as non-executive chairman of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, of which Lauda owned 10%.Having emerged as Formula One's star driver amid a 1975 title win and leading the 1976 championship battle, Lauda was seriously injured in a crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring during which his Ferrari 312T2 burst into flames, and he came close to death after inhaling hot toxic fumes and suffering severe burns. However, he survived and recovered sufficiently to race again just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix. Although he narrowly lost the title to James Hunt that year, he won his second Ferrari crown the year after during his final season at the team. After a couple of years at Brabham and two years' hiatus, Lauda returned and raced four seasons for McLaren between 1982 and 1985 – during which he won the 1984 title by one-half a point over his teammate Alain Prost.
He is also known as Andreas Nikolaus Lauda, Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda and Nikolaus Lauda.
On 20 May 2019, Lauda died in his sleep, aged 70, at the University Hospital of Zürich, where he had been undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney problems, following a period of ill health. A statement issued on behalf of his family reported that he had died peacefully, surrounded by family members.
Various current and former drivers and teams paid tributes on social media and during the Wednesday press conference session before the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix. A moment of silence was held before the race. Throughout the weekend, fans and drivers were encouraged to wear red caps in his honour. His funeral, at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, was attended by many prominent Formula One figures, including Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Nico Rosberg, Alain Prost, Valtteri Bottas, Nelson Piquet, Gerhard Berger, Jean Alesi and Jackie Stewart along with Austrian politicians Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alexander van der Bellen among others.