While he lived, Niki Lauda enjoyed his life to the fullest. The legendary F1 driver is recognized as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and had a trophy cabinet to prove it. Not only did Niki won the title of F1 World Drivers’ Champion three times, but he also became the only driver in F1 history to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren, the sport’s two most successful constructors. An aviation entrepreneur, Niki had his hands full with three airlines company, Lauda Air, Niki, and Lauda. The man left much legacy to up and coming drivers and is grieved by his two wives, Marlene Knaus and Birgit Wetzinger, and four sons. While much is said about his marriage with Brigit, Marlene rarely comes up when talking about the legacy Niki left behind. Which is why, in this article, we will take a closer look at the life of Marlene Knaus.
A life lived in secrecy:
Much of Marlene’s life has never been revealed to media except her birth year 1956, in USA. The former model never achieved much fame from her modeling career and is best known as the wife of Niki Lauda. Marlene met her future husband in the 1975 and the pair began dating soon after. Even though Niki was in a relationship of 8-years while meeting Marlene, he called things off with his girlfriend and began dating Marlene. The pair tied the knot in 1976 and were often seen together in racing events. Always there to support her husband, Marlene became the mother to two children. The eldest, Mathias, followed his father into the world of F1, while the younger, Lukas, acted as Mathias’s manager.
While Marlene and Niki enjoyed an amazing relationship during their early years, things gradually started to deteriorate. In addition to Niki’s busy schedule, rumors began to spread that Niki was involved in extra-marital affairs. Even though there were no concrete proofs of it, the rumor took a strain on the pair’s marriage, and they called things quite in 1991. Following the divorce, Marlene received a huge sum of money as a divorce settlement which drastically increased her net worth.
Following the divorce, Marlene disappeared from the media and started to live her life in silence. While she was never the one to give interviews and talk to media, she took her privacy to another level after the divorce. While she was with Niki, Marlene used to maintain a twitter account where she would regularly update her followers on the professional side of her life and the races he would attend. However, following the divorce, Marlene abandoned all forms of social media and went into hiding. Little is known about her future relationships following the divorce.
On the other hand, her ex-husband Niki Lauda continued to establish himself as one of the greatest race car drivers of all time. In 2008, Niki married Birgit Wetzinger, who used to work as a hostess in his airlines. The pair met early on in 2000 and Brigit donated a kidney to Niki. Niki had already gone to a kidney transplant surgery in 1997 when his brother was the donor. Niki had twins with Birgit and enjoyed the last few years of his life in peace. Niki passed away peacefully On 20 May 2019, at the University Hospital of Zürich.