Niki Lauda, Austrian Method 1 legend, dies at 70



Niki Lauda on 1 February 2015Picture copyright
AFP

Picture caption

Niki Lauda underwent a lung transplant 9 months in the past

Three-time Method 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died on the age of 70, 9 months after present process a lung transplant.

The legendary Austrian took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984.

For a lot of, he shall be remembered for his exceptional restoration and return to racing after being badly burned in a crash within the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Lauda “handed away peacefully” on Monday, his household mentioned.

After his profession as a racing driver, he turned an airline entrepreneur and, most not too long ago, a non-executive chairman for the Method 1 Mercedes group, instrumental in bringing in British driver Lewis Hamilton, who has gained 5 world championships.

“His distinctive achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and can stay unforgettable, his tireless zest for motion, his straightforwardness and his braveness stay a job mannequin and a benchmark for all of us,” his household’s assertion mentioned.

‘A exceptional life lived in technicolour’

On 1 August 1976, one yr after successful his first title, he suffered third-degree burns to his head and face and inhaled poisonous gases that broken his lungs after his automobile burst into flames at Nurburgring.

He was given the final rites in hospital however made an nearly miraculous restoration, and returned to racing, nonetheless bandaged, simply 40 days later.

British former F1 champion Jenson Button has referred to as him a “legend” whereas McLaren mentioned Lauda can be “enshrined in our historical past”.

Lauda’s rivalry with British driver James Hunt, the 1976 world champion, was intense and was portrayed within the acclaimed movie Rush in 2013.

He underwent two kidney transplants, the second kidney donated in 2005 by his then-girlfriend Birgit Wetzinger, a former flight attendant for his airline whom he married in 2008.

In addition to their twins, a boy and a woman born in 2009, Lauda additionally had three sons from earlier relationships.

In January, Lauda spent some 10 days in hospital whereas affected by influenza.

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