Lauda looking for new head sponsor

Niki Lauda is reportedly seeking a new “head sponsor” as the cooperation contract with OC Oerlikon expires at the end of this year.Newspapers report today (Thurs) that the struggling Swiss technology firm will not extend the deal securing it a place on the front of Lauda’s iconic red baseball cap for an alleged 1.2 million Euros a year.Lauda denied to comment on the speculations.Various companies including Italian dairy company Parmalat have paid the FlyNiki boss millions of Euros over the years in sponsorship deals. Lauda, 61, decided to make a baseball cap his trademark after surviving a dramatic crash more than 30 years ago.Three-time Formula One champion Lauda almost died when his Ferrari caught fire at the Nürburgring racing course in 1976.”I didn’t want people looking at the black, burnt skin,” he explained in a recent interview.Lauda founded his own airline Lauda Air before selling it to competitor Austrian Airlines (AUA). His new company FlyNiki had 2.6 million customers and a turnover of 229 million Euros in 2009.Lauda announced the plan was to break the three-million passengers barrier this year.