Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.
The legendary Austrian, Niki Lauda, one of the best-known figures in motor racing, took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984.
After being badly burned in a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix, he made a remarkable recovery. As a result, many will remember him for such a feat alone.
Niki Lauda, who underwent a lung transplant in August, “passed away peacefully” on Monday, his family said.
After his career as a racing driver, he became an airline entrepreneur. Most recently, he became a non-executive chairman for the Formula 1 Mercedes team. He has been instrumental in bringing in British driver Lewis Hamilton, who has won five world championships.
Niki Lauda’s Accident in 1976
On 1 August 1976, one year after winning his first title, he suffered third-degree burns to his head and face and inhaled toxic gases that damaged his lungs after his vehicle burst into flames at Nurburgring.
Tributes Pour In For Niki Lauda
Rest in peace Niki Lauda.
Forever carried in our hearts, forever immortalised in our history. The motorsport community today mourns the devastating loss of a true legend.
The thoughts of everyone at F1 are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/olmnjDaefo
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 21, 2019
All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away. Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history. #RIPNiki pic.twitter.com/Ndd9ZEfm6B
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 21, 2019
Actor Daniel Brühl brilliantly portrays Niki Lauda in a Hollywood movie ‘Rush’
Lauda’s fiercest rival was British driver James Hunt who is the 1976 world champion.
The 2013 film Rush directed by Ron Howard. centers around Lauda’s comeback and rivalry with Hunt.
Spanish-born actor Daniel Brühl played Lauda in the film, and Hunt was portrayed by The Avengers actor Chris Hemsworth. The film received two Golden Globe nominations, including best motion picture – drama and best supporting actor for Brühl.
Lauda underwent two kidney transplants and the second kidney was donated in 2005 by his then-girlfriend Birgit Wetzinger who is a former flight attendant for his airline whom he married in 2008.
Besides their twins, a boy and a girl born in 2009, Lauda spent the last years of his life connected with Formula 1 as well. Moreover, Lauda also had three sons from previous relationships.
In January, Lauda spent some 10 days in the hospital while suffering from influenza.
Niki Lauda lived a remarkable life. pic.twitter.com/JZMyN1xVf4
— 9GAG (@9GAG) May 21, 2019