Niki Lauda’s family has confirmed the three time Formula 1 world champion has died at the age of 70.
The Austrian won the world title twice with Ferrari before sealing his final crown with McLaren in 1984 by just half a point.
“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” a statement from his family said.
“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’s first success came in 1975, before his second in 1977 came following a horrendous crash at the Nurburgring the previous year which nearly cost him his life.
His battle for the 1976 world title with James Hunt was the subject of the Ron Howard film Rush.
Since retiring from racing, Lauda went on to found an airline, and became an advisor to Ferrari.
His final role within the sport was with Mercedes, where he was a non-executive chairman, though has not been seen at a race track since a reported bout of the flu last year.
What was first reported as the flu was later revealed to have developed into a lung transplant, with Lauda given less than a week to live prior to the operation.
|1949||Born in Vienna, Austria on February 22|
|1968||Takes part in hillclimb event|
|1969||Factory driver in Formula Vee|
|1970||Races in Formula 3|
|1971||Formula 1 debut at Austrian Grand Prix with March (only entry that season); also Formula 2 season with March, paid for by borrowing against life insurance policy|
|1972||Contests full Formula 1 season with March|
|1973||Scores first Formula 1 points by finishing fifth in Belgian Grand Prix with BRM|
|1974||First two grand prix wins, with Ferrari|
|1975||World drivers’ champion; Ferrari’s first since 1964|
|1976||Given last rites after horrific, fiery crash at Nurburgring; finishes fourth in Italian Grand Prix just six weeks later and ultimately runner-up in championship|
|1977||World drivers’ champion with Ferrari|
|1978||Switches to Brabham team|
|1979||Quits Formula 1; founds own airline (Lauda Air)|
|1982||Returns to Formula 1 with McLaren|
|1984||World drivers’ champion with McLaren|
|1985||Retires from Formula 1 for final time|
|1992||Becomes advisor to Ferrari Formula 1 team; stays until 1997|
|1997||Receives kidney transplant from brother Florian|
|2000||Sells Lauda Air to Austrian Airlines|
|2001||Becomes Race Director (and subsequently Team Principal) of Jaguar Formula 1 team; two-year tenure|
|2003||Buys out another airline to launch Niki|
|2005||Receives second kidney transplant, from future wife Birgit|
|2011||Niki (airline) merges with Air Berlin|
|2012||Becomes Non-Executive Chairman of Mercedes Formula 1 team|
|2018||Receives lung transplant|
|2019||Hospitalised with flu in January; dies in presence of family on May 20|
|World drivers’ championships||3|
|Grand prix wins||25|
|Grand prix podiums||54|
|Grand prix poles||54|