Austrian former Formula One driver Niki Lauda left his mark on the sport.
Austrian former Formula One driver Niki Lauda left his mark on the sport.

F1 world mourns death of legend Niki Lauda

AUSTRIAN Formula One legend Niki Lauda has passed away at the age of 70, eight months after undergoing a lung transplant.

The three-time champion won the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and for McLaren in 1984, and last raced in a grand prix in Adelaide in 1985.

He had a double lung transplant in August last year, had recently undergone kidney dialysis and was hospitalised with the flu in January.

The popular figure died peacefully in his sleep on Monday surrounded by family.

"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday," his family said in a statement.

"His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain.

Niki Lauda (L) and James Hunt in their heyday.
Niki Lauda (L) and James Hunt in their heyday.

"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's head was badly burned in a fiery crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976, with his lungs damaged by toxic smoke.  

News Corp Australia

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