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3 Years After His Death, Niki Lauda’s Wife Brutally Disrespects Him to Initiate $32,000,000 Battle Against Own Children

Published 04/12/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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During his time in F1 as a driver and later as a consultant and non-executive chairman of Mercedes, Niki Lauda amassed quite a fortune. Having two children with his ex-wife and two with Birgit Wetzinger, he perhaps knew his wealth distribution after his passing could become a tricky affair. Resultantly, the F1 great left behind a will, a will that everyone in his family respects. Not Birgit, though. Niki’s widow has opened up a lawsuit against the rest of his successors for a $32 million stake in his foundation.

Ever since his fiery crash at the Nurburgring in 1976, Lauda was never the same again. He soldiered the rest of his life with health issues that required him to go for two separate lung transplants. In 1997, he got one from his brother and when that failed, Birgit gave him one. Sadly, he continued to suffer from lung-related ailments for the rest of his life.

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Now, as Birgit hopes to get a sizeable chunk of his wealth, the rest of the family is ready to fight her in court. That is because they intend on honoring Niki’s will, according to which, Birgit is already drawing a monthly income of $21,850 (20,000 Euros) from the foundation.

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“Birgit started all these proceedings,” a family friend told the Austrian newspaper Kurier. “although the rest of the family fully agree with the way Niki arranged it.”

“They respect his will and are ready to defend it in court.”

It is not just Lauda’s personal family that is going through troubled times right now. His professional family, team Mercedes, is currently going through arguably its biggest slump.

As going gets tougher, Toto Wolff misses his trusted aide Niki Lauda

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Ever since the ground effect regulations came into effect last year, Mercedes has been left wanting. Not only did they see Red Bull break their 8-year championship-winning run, but they also slipped down the pecking order, finishing 3rd in the standings. In 2023, they continued their bad run from last year with only a P2 finish in Melbourne a saving grace until now. Clearly, this is the time they needed a brain like Niki’s in the paddocks.

via Getty

In a recent interview with Stats Perform, Toto Wolff said, “After all these years, we still miss Niki a lot. He always manages to come up with simple solutions to complex problems and keep them simple. If he were here, I have to figure out what to say and how to act. We’ve both been very effective when we deliberately simplified a situation as much as possible and sometimes it pays off right away. But there are so many different details.”

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports with an impressive portfolio of over 850 published articles. With a keen eye for sports and a passion for Formula 1, soccer, and tennis Nischay has embarked on a journey in sports journalism. As a long-time Formula 1 fan, Nischay enjoys reflecting on races from the sport’s past.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai