Formula One icon Niki Lauda has died aged 70, his family confirmed.
A statement released by Lauda’s family stated that the driving ace passed away with his family on Monday. The Austrian received a lung transplant eight months ago.
The statement remembered “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.”
Lauda won Formula One championship titles in 1975, 1977, and 1984, in the face of immense challenges that came from a near-fatal accident at the Nurburgring in 1976 which left him with severe burns.
Lauda made his F1 debut back in 1971 with the March team and after raking up a serious of impressive results, he eventually found himself driving a Ferrari in 1974 and went on to secure his first title the following year.
He was well-admired for his courage, which was no more apparent in the wake of a crash at the Nurburgring where he was left trapped in a burning car and suffered severe burns and damage to his lungs and could have easily retired from the sport. Instead, he returned to racing just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix.
Niki Lauda is survived by wife Birgit Wetzinger and their childrea, Mia and Max Lauda.