Marlene Knaus: Early Life, Career And Personal Life Of Niki Lauda’s Ex-Wife

Marlene Knaus

Marlene Knaus is an Austrian fashion designer, icon, and former model. When Marlene Knaus started dating her ex-husband, the well-known Austrian “Formula 1” racer Niki Lauda (Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda), she rose to fame. She is also well known for having a distinctive 1960s hairstyle.

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Early Life

Marlene Knaus was born in the United States of America in 1956, making her 67 as of 2023. She is both American and Austrian by nationality.

After marrying Niki, she was granted Austrian citizenship, but she is of Venezuelan ancestry. Regarding her upbringing, parents, and siblings, she hasn’t divulged any information.

There is no information available on the college or university she attended. She may, however, have finished high school based on her age.

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Marlene Knaus

While she got married to Niki, Marlene seemed to have a successful modeling career. She was a trendsetter back then. She also established a trend at the time with her signature loose hairstyle and great sense of style. After her triumph, she worked for other well-known brands.

Additionally, she was referred to as the ‘It-girl’ of high fashion. She was a prominent figure in the fashion industry and adorned the covers of numerous magazines. She doesn’t contact people on social media and has so far kept her distance.

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Personal Life

niki lauda Marlene Knaus

In 1976, Marlene and Niki Lauda decided to get married. At the age of 20, she wed Niki. In 1975, 1977, and 1984, Niki won the World Driver Championship. They were one of the most well-known celebrity couples at the time and were often featured in the media. They frequently had front-page love stories.

In order to wed Mariella Reininghaus, Niki broke up with her in 1975. She supposedly won Niki over with her fascinating personality and attractiveness. So they maintained their eight-year romance with her. She had formerly been involved in a relationship with German-Austrian actor Curt Jürgens. She and Niki met at a dinner event Curt held at his house.

After dating for a brief period of time, she and Niki were married. On January 30, 1981, they welcomed Mathias Lauda into the world, who would go on to become a racing driver. Lukas, their younger son, is Mathias’ manager. In 1991, she and Niki were divorced. However, they remained in touch, and she frequently went to their family gatherings.

Niki later wed Birgit Wetzinger, a flight attendant for his airline, in 2008, but she remained single and never dated again. Mia and Max, twin children of Niki and Birgit, were born shortly after. Christoph was Niki’s kid from an adulterous relationship.

She resides in an Ibiza home that Niki left for her following their divorce. She and Birgit have kept a solid relationship going and even shared duties when Niki was dying in a Zurich hospital.

Niki passed away at the age of 70 due to health problems. The majority of Niki’s wealth was distributed to his four children, Birgit, and her and Christoph, along with a sizeable payment for her.

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Who is Niki Lauda?

niki lauda

Andreas Nikolaus Lauda was born on February 22, 1949, in Vienna, Austria. His paternal grandfather, manufacturer Hans Lauda, co-founded the Federation of Austrian Industries in the 1940s, and he was raised in a prosperous family that produced paper.

Since Niki’s family didn’t support his decision to pursue a career in auto racing, Lauda finally stopped communicating with them. He started racing in the late 1960s, first with a Mini, then Formula Vee, and finally private Chevrons and Porsches.


In order to gain entry into the Formula Two circuit in 1971, Lauda obtained a bank loan. He was then promoted to the Formula One squad. He borrowed money from the bank once more in 1973 in order to pay his way into the British Racing Motors (BRM) squad. Niki attracted Enzo Ferrari’s eye when he participated in the Monaco Grand Prix of that year, and in 1974, Ferrari hired him to join the squad.

his debut race with Ferrari, the Argentine Grand Prix, Lauda finished in second place. That same year, he also won the Spanish Grand Prix. He won four races in the new Ferrari 312T in 1975 before finishing third in the Italian Grand Prix and taking the victory at the United States Grand Prix.

Niki finished in second place in two of the first six 1976 races while winning four of them. Due to the Ferrari team contesting James Hunt’s victory and Hunt later being disqualified, he was proclaimed the winner of the British Grand Prix two months after the race. Lauda’s car veered off the track during the 1976 German Grand Prix, colliding with an embankment, and catching fire.

Before being liberated by fellow driver Arturo Merzario, Niki was trapped in the debris and suffered serious burns to his head, lungs, and blood from Lauda breathing hot toxic fumes. After the accident, Niki was awake, but after being taken to the hospital, he fell into a coma. Miraculously,

Lauda overcame his wounds, and upon his recovery, he started donning a red cap to disguise the significant scarring on his head. Only six weeks after the terrible accident, he made a comeback to racing and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Prix.

Niki left the Japanese Grand Prix after just two laps because he didn’t feel secure racing in the pouring rain, which strained his relationship with Ferrari. During the 1977 season, he departed the Ferrari squad and joined the Brabham-Alfa Romeo team in 1978.

Lauda declared that he would be retiring right away during a practice session for the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix because he was no longer interested in continuing “the silliness of driving around in circles.” On‘s 2008 ranking of the top 25 drivers of all time, Niki came in at number 22.

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Other Ventures

niki lauda Marlene Knaus

Niki established Lauda Air, a private airline, in 1979. In 1999, he sold the company to Austrian Airlines, then in 2003, he established Niki, which in 2011 amalgamated with Air Berlin. Amira Air , a charter airline, was acquired by Lauda in 2016 and rebranded as LaudaMotion. Niki was a licensed pilot who continued to fly airplanes well into his 60s.

Personal Life

Before getting divorced in 1991, Niki and Marlene Knaus welcomed their sons Lukas and Mathias into the world in 1979 and 1981, respectively. In the same way as his father, Mathias pursued a career as a race car driver, while Lukas oversaw his brother’s professional endeavors.

Lauda wed Birgit Wetzinger in 2008; she was a flight attendant for his airline. In addition to the twins Mia and Max that the couple produced in 2009, Niki also had a son named Christoph with a previous partner in 1982. Lauda received a kidney transplant in 1997 due to his brother Florian. Birgit gave a kidney in 2005 after the kidney he received from Florian failed. Niki got a lung transplant last year.



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