Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has died. He was 70.
Lauda won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns, and he went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry.
The Austria Press Agency reported Lauda’s family, saying in a statement he “passed away peacefully” on Monday.
“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” his family said, as Motorsport reported. “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.”
Walter Klepetko, a doctor who carried out a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”
Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.
In August last year, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
By Frank Miles