Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda has died at age 70, a family spokeswoman said in a statement.
The three-time world champion received a lung transplant last year and was hospitalised with the flu in January.
Lauda’s head was badly burned in a fiery crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976 and his lungs were damaged by toxic smoke.
The statement said in part:
“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.
“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 the world drivers’ championship in 1975, 1977 and 1984.
If you ever get the chance to watch Ron Howard’s “Rush”, do it. Niki Lauda has one of the most incredible stories in sport, not just motor racing. True legend of Formula 1. pic.twitter.com/51kkmHcDlT
— Andy / A-BombFM (@ABombFM) May 21, 2019