Markus Höttinger was the son of a lawyer and a teacher. He was a tallented racing driver and a very good skier.
1977 he won the Renault 5 Cup and Dr. Helmut Marko becomes his manager. In 1979 he took over from Eddie Cheever at BMW when Cheever was hurt, to drive in the Procar series.
In 1980 he switched to the Mampe F2 Team. But on 13 April at Hockenheim during an Formula 2 race, he was killed when a loose wheel from Derek Warwick's car struck his head, killing him almost instantly. The race was stopped when it became apparent how serious in nature the incident had become.
The following day it was to be announced that he would make his Formula 1 debut in August at the Austrian Grand Prix.