The world is currently mourning the loss of a legendary and iconic figure, three-time Formula One world champion and one of the sport’s all-time greats, Niki Lauda as he passed away at the age of 70.
The Austrian racing driver, who received a lung transplant nine months ago, “passed away peacefully” early on Tuesday, his family said in a statement.
In August last year, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.”
The doctor that performed the transplant, Walter Klepetko, confirmed his death on Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported.
Lauda won the world championship for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and, after briefly quitting the sport to run an airline, for McLaren in 1984.
He is famous for narrowly escaping death in 1976 when his Ferrari crashed at the Nurburgring in Germany. He made a miraculous recovery despite horrific burns and finished second in the championship to James Hunt, his foremost racing rival.
The rivalry between the pair was later made into a film starring Daniel Bruhl as Lauda and Chris Hemsworth as Hunt in 2013.
He is survived by his second wife, Birgit, their twin children Max and Mia, and two adult sons, Lukas and Mathias, from his first marriage.
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