In the high-octane world of Formula 1 racing, names like Niki Lauda resonate with speed, skill, and resilience. However, behind every great man is often a woman who plays a significant role in their success and personal life. In the case of Niki Lauda, that woman was Marlene Knaus.

Niki Lauda, an Austrian racing driver, is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time. With three World Championships under his belt, including his remarkable comeback from a near-fatal accident in 1976, Lauda’s legacy in the sport is legendary. Throughout his career, Marlene Knaus stood by his side as his wife, offering support, love, and companionship.

Early Life and Relationship with Niki Lauda

Marlene Knaus was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1954. Before meeting Niki Lauda, she worked as a fashion model, gracing the pages of magazines and walking the runways of Europe. Her striking beauty and elegant demeanor caught the attention of the charismatic Lauda, and the two began a relationship that would ultimately lead to marriage in 1976.

Knaus’s presence in Lauda’s life during his tumultuous racing career was a stabilizing force. She accompanied him to races, offered emotional support during challenging times, and celebrated his victories with grace and poise. Despite Lauda’s intense focus on racing and the demands of his career, Knaus remained a constant source of strength and love for him.

The Glamorous Couple in the Spotlight

As a couple, Niki Lauda and Marlene Knaus captivated the public with their glamour and sophistication. They were frequently seen at high-profile events, exuding elegance and style wherever they went. Knaus’s fashion sense and chic presence complemented Lauda’s steely determination and success on the racetrack, making them a power couple in the world of sports and entertainment.

Their relationship, however, faced its own share of challenges, including the pressures of Lauda’s racing career, the media scrutiny that came with their fame, and the demands of maintaining a high-profile lifestyle. Despite these obstacles, Knaus and Lauda remained devoted to each other, weathering the storms with resilience and commitment.

Marlene Knaus: A Private Persona

Despite her public appearances and the media attention surrounding her relationship with Niki Lauda, Marlene Knaus maintained a sense of privacy and mystery. She shied away from the spotlight, choosing to focus on her family and personal life rather than seeking fame and accolades for herself.

This enigmatic quality only added to Knaus’s allure, making her a figure of fascination for fans and followers of Niki Lauda’s career. While Lauda was the public face of their relationship, Knaus was the quiet strength behind the scenes, providing unwavering support and love to her husband.

Life Beyond the Limelight

After Niki Lauda’s retirement from racing in 1985, he and Marlene Knaus gradually retreated from the public eye, choosing a life of privacy and seclusion. They focused on raising their children and enjoying a more low-key existence away from the hustle and bustle of the racing world.

Despite their decision to step away from the glamour of their earlier years, Knaus’s impact on Lauda’s life and career remained profound. Her unwavering love and support had been instrumental in helping Lauda overcome the challenges he faced both on and off the track, and their bond endured through the years.

Legacy and Remembering Marlene Knaus

Marlene Knaus’s legacy lies not in the public eye but in the enduring influence she had on Niki Lauda’s life and career. As a supportive partner, devoted wife, and loving mother, Knaus played a vital role in shaping Lauda’s success and fortitude. Her grace, elegance, and strength served as a source of inspiration for Lauda and those who knew her.

While Niki Lauda may have been the face of their partnership, Marlene Knaus’s quiet strength and unwavering presence were the pillars that supported them through the highs and lows of their shared journey. Her impact on Lauda’s life and legacy is a testament to the essential role she played in his remarkable achievements.


In the annals of Formula 1 history, the name Niki Lauda looms large as a racing icon and a true legend of the sport. But behind this towering figure was Marlene Knaus, the enigmatic wife who stood by his side through triumph and tragedy, offering love, support, and companionship along the way. While her presence may have been understated in the public eye, her influence on Lauda’s life and career was immeasurable. Marlene Knaus remains a symbol of quiet strength, grace, and resilience, embodying the timeless adage that behind every great man is a great woman.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Who is Marlene Knaus?
    Marlene Knaus is the former wife of Niki Lauda, the legendary Formula 1 racing driver. She was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1954 and worked as a fashion model before marrying Lauda in 1976.

  2. What was Marlene Knaus’s role in Niki Lauda’s life and career?
    Marlene Knaus played a significant role in Niki Lauda’s life as his wife, offering support, love, and companionship throughout his racing career and beyond.

  3. How did Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda meet?
    Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda met through their shared circles in the fashion and entertainment industry. Their relationship blossomed, leading to their marriage in 1976.

  4. Why did Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda step away from the public eye after his retirement?
    After Niki Lauda’s retirement from racing in 1985, he and Marlene Knaus chose to focus on their family and lead a more private life away from the media spotlight.

  5. What is Marlene Knaus’s legacy in the world of Formula 1?
    Marlene Knaus’s legacy lies in her enduring influence on Niki Lauda’s life and career. As a supportive partner and loving wife, she played a crucial role in Lauda’s success and resilience.

  6. Did Marlene Knaus have any children with Niki Lauda?
    Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda have two children together: a son named Lukas and a daughter named Mathias.

  7. How is Marlene Knaus remembered by those who knew her and Niki Lauda?
    Marlene Knaus is remembered as a woman of grace, elegance, and inner strength. Her quiet support and unwavering love for Niki Lauda left a lasting impact on those who knew her.

  8. What is Marlene Knaus’s background before meeting Niki Lauda?
    Before meeting Niki Lauda, Marlene Knaus worked as a successful fashion model, showcasing her beauty and style on runways and in magazines across Europe.

  9. How did Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda navigate the challenges of fame and public scrutiny in their relationship?
    Marlene Knaus and Niki Lauda faced challenges of media scrutiny and public attention during their relationship, but their commitment to each other and their family remained steadfast.

  10. What adjectives best describe Marlene Knaus’s contributions to Niki Lauda’s life and career?
    Marlene Knaus is often described as a pillar of strength, grace, elegance, and unwavering support in Niki Lauda’s life and career, embodying qualities that complemented his own persona.

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