Three Time Formula One Champion Niki Lauda Has Died

Legendary Formula One Driver Niki Lauda, the three time world champion from Austria, has died, aged 70.

His family said in a statement: "With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday.

"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 with the Mercedes team. Image: PA Images
Lauda with the Mercedes team. Image: PA Images

Lauder became an icon in the sport following his crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix, where he suffered horrendous burns, only to return to the cockpit later the same season.

He was given his last rites in hospital following that crash but just 40 days later was back driving and only just missed out on the title to James Hunt by one point that year, following his retirement in the final race.

In recent years Lauda had been working as a non-executive chairman for the Formula 1 Mercedes team and had been a big part of the team that has dominated in F1 in recent years, helping Lewis Hamilton to four world titles and Nico Rosberg to one.

Many in the sport have paid tribute on social media to the legend:

Lauda, the only F1 driver to have raced for both McLaren and Ferrari, leaves behind him five children and wife Birgit Wetzinger.

The next Formula One race is at Monaco this weekend, where the Austrian won twice during his career.

Our condolences are with Lauda's family and friends.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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