Formula One legend Niki Lauda dies age 70

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Family pays tribute to the three-time World Champion

The Lauda family has confirmed that Formula One legend, Niki Lauda has died at age 70.

The three-time World Champion passed away peacefully overnight, reportedly following a kidney dialysis.

The sad news comes eight months after undergoing a lung transplant, and five months being hospitalised in Vienna with the flu.

In a statement released by the family, they stated: "with deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday".

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"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 benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, he will be missed".

Lauda remains an icon and hero of Formula One, winning three World Championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984 with Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz.

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His near-fatal crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 left him with severe burns, as well as two kidney transplants years later in 1997 and 2005. Amazingly, he was back in the car just six weeks later, inspirationally winning his second World Championship the following year.

Lauda briefly retired from Formula One after the 1979 season, choosing to start his own airline service, Lauda Air. In 1982, he returned to the driver’s seat for McLaren.

After retiring from the sport in 1985, Lauda remained a mainstay in the F1 paddock, taking on an advisor role at Ferrari, Jaguar F1 Team Principle and a TV Commentator before becoming a non-executive Chairman at Mercedes-Benz in 2012.

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Both on track and off, Lauda was many things to many people; yet incredibly inspirational to all of whom knew him.

His will was near superhuman, and his race craft near surgical. The three-time Champ lived a full life with unparalleled achievements.

He was a figure larger than the sport of F1, a hero.

Vale Lauda. We thank you.

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