Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family has confirmed. Lauda, who won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren, passed away on Monday – eight months after undergoing a lung transplant.
The Austrian died at University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland surrounded by his closest family, a spokesman said, after he was reported to have gone in for dialysis treatment earlier this month.
Lauda had two kidney transplants in his life – the first in 1997 with an organ donated by his brother, and then again in 2005 donated by his future wife Birgit Wetzinger, who was then his girlfriend.
The F1 racer was considered one of the sport’s greatest ever drivers and in 1976 was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.
In a statement, his family said: ‘With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday.’