Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda dead at 70

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda dead at 70.

Formula One great Niki Lauda, who won two of his world titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.

Lauda's family issued a statement saying the three-time world champion "passed away peacefully" on Monday.

Walter Klepetko, a doctor who performed a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said on Tuesday: "Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that."

The family statement said: "His unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and remain unforgettable. His tireless drive, his straightforwardness and his courage remain an example and standard for us all. Away from the public gaze he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him very much."

Lauda won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari, and in 1984 with McLaren.

In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but he made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.