Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.
In a statement issued to the Austrian Press Agency on Tuesday morning, it was confirmed by Lauda’s family that he had passed away on Monday, nine months after undergoing a lung transplant.
“In deep mourning, we announce that our beloved Niki has passed away peacefully with his family on Monday,” the family statement read.
“His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable. His tireless drive, straightforwardness and courage remain an example and a benchmark for all of us.”
“He was a loving and caring husband, father, and grandfather away from the public.”
Lauda rose to prominence in F1 in the 1970s, winning his first world championship with Ferrari in 1975.
The Austrian sustained life-threatening burns and injuries in an accident at the German Grand Prix in 1976, but remarkably returned to racing just six weeks later, narrowly missing out on the world championship to James Hunt that year. He would go on to clinch a second title in 1977.
Lauda took a three-year break from F1 at the end of 1979 in order to focus on his commercial interests, but returned in 1982 with McLaren, going on to win a third and final world title in 1984.
He remained a regular figure in the paddock for another three decades following his retirement in 1985, most recently enjoying a non-executive role with Mercedes during its recent dominance of F1.