A dark day for F1: three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.

“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” Lauda’s family announced via an official statement, adding that the former F1 world champion had been “a role model and a benchmark for all of us”, as well as “a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public.”

 

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda and Jody Scheckter at the Race of Champions in 1973 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Over the course of his illustrious career, Lauda competed in a total of 171 races and won 25. The Austrian racer’s crowning achievements included winning the F1 World Champion title thrice, in 1975, 1977 and 1984, respectively.

 

 

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Lauda’s journey as an athlete was marked by its share of adversities. The German Grand Prix of 1976 had served as a turning point in his career; he’d lost control of his vehicle and was involved in one of the most horrific crashes of F1 history, which left him with severe third-degree burns to his face and head.

 

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda driving the Ferrari 312T at the US Grand Prix in 1976 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lauda’s comeback to the race track after the accident, however, is the stuff of pure F1 legend. The man returned within a mere 40 days and ended up bagging the fourth spot at the Italian Grand Prix.

 

 

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Lauda’s career after retirement from racing included setting up his very own airline company, Lauda Air, in addition to holding senior F1 management roles. Prior to his demise, Lauda was a non-executive chairman at Mercedes and had played a pivotal role in recruiting Lewis Hamilton.

 

 

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Lauda is survived by his second wife Birgit and their twins, Max and Mia; two sons with his first wife Marlene Knaus, Mathias and Lukas; and a son, Christoph, from a third relationship.

written by.
Anis Taufik
Contributor, MY
Anis enjoys covering the fashion, food, watch and travel beats. He says working out is the cheapest form of therapy available, but really, it’s a cover up for bingeing on Nutella on toast.

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