Niki Lauda is dead – The Formula 1 world legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.
According to reports from Austria, the three-time world champion, passed away peacefully overnight on Monday, May 20, from complications following a lung transplant he had in August 2018.
Niki’s family released a statement after his death, saying:
“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday.
“His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain.
“A role model and a benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, and he will be missed.”
Upon hearing the news that Niki Lauda is dead, most of his fans said he will be remembered for his remarkable recovery and return to racing after being badly burned in a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix.
Who was Niki Lauda?
Lauda, who was born in Vienna in February 1949, was a motor racing legend who went on to be a successful businessman following his retirement from the sport, BBC Sports reports.
However, he was probably best-known for surviving a crash during the 1976 season which left him scarred for life.
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.
He was given the last rites in hospital but made an almost miraculous recovery and returned to racing, still bandaged, just 40 days later.
After his career as a racing driver, he became an airline entrepreneur and, most recently, a non-executive chairman for the Formula 1 Mercedes team, instrumental in bringing in British driver Lewis Hamilton, who has won five world championships.