The family of Niki Lauda has confirmed that the three-time Formula One World Champion sadly passed away on Monday (20 May), succumbing to ill health at the age of 70.
A family statement said: "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."
Lauda was one of the greatest and most courageous drivers to have ever competed in Formula 1; a prominent figure within the sport for more than four decades.
Having made his F1 debut in 1971, Lauda went on to claim his first race win at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1974, with Ferrari. A year later, the Austrian claimed his first Drivers’ World Championship in 1975.
Lauda’s second and third titles followed in 1977 and 1984, after his infamous Nürburgring crash, in which he suffered serious burns and was lucky to survive. His return to racing, remarkably after missing just two races, was one of the bravest and most extraordinary comebacks in sporting history.
The Austrian legend also won the Formula 1 British Grand Prix on three occasions, at Brands Hatch in 1976, 1982 and 1984.
Lauda became non-executive chairman of the Mercedes Formula 1 team in 2012 and was a key figure at the world championship-winning outfit.
Niki Lauda was an inspiration, both on and off the track. The thoughts of everyone at Motorsport UK are with Niki’s family and close friends.
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