Formula 1 Champion Niki Lauda Passes Away Former Formula 1 Champion Niki Lauda has passed away. After an operation in August last year and then was back in hospital earlier this year he passed on yesterday. Even though he was well known for his exploits in racing Niki Lauda was very active in aviation, both commerical and business aviation. Many will remember his exploits with Lauda Air in 1985 of which the remnants still operate today as Lauda (as of March 2019). Perhaps in the business aviation scene, Niki Lauda was known for his ownership of Bombardier aircraft and more recently being a brand ambassador for them.