Formula 1 Legend Niki Lauda Dies at 70

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Niki Lauda
WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - OCTOBER 02: Niki Lauda during the United States GP at Watkins Glen International on October 02, 1977 in Watkins Glen International, United States of America. (Photo by LAT Images)

Legendary Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda has passed away at the age of 70 years old, according to his family (h/t TMZ Sports).

“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 is widely considered one of the greatest drivers in Formula 1 history and he reportedly passed away on Monday, nine months after he underwent lung transplant surgery.

While Lauda is known for wining the Formula 1 drivers’ championships back in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari, and again winning the championship in 1984 with McLaren, he is perhaps best known for his crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix which saw his car crash and catch fire.

While he was badly burned during the crash, he amazingly returned to racing only 6 weeks later, making him a legend in the sport.

Lauda’s well-documented rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the plot basis for the movie ‘Rush’.