Niki Lauda dead: F1 legend passes away aged 70 after kidney problems | F1 | Sport


In a statement, Lauda’s family confirmed the sad news, writing: “With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday, May 20, 2019.

“His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, 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 is considered to be one of the best drivers in the sport’s history, and was a frequent figure in the paddock throughout recent years.

Lauda, who was a three-time Drivers Championship winner, was the only driver to have won a world title with Ferrari and McLaren.

He won world titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984, and was perhaps most famous for his incredible return to the sport after suffering devastating burns in a crash in 1975.

Lauda suffered severe burns and was placed into a coma, and lost most of his right ear as well as the hair on the right side of his face, his eyebrows and eyelids.

Somehow, however, he returned to the sport just two races later. He drove in the Italian Grand Prix just weeks afterwards, finishing fourth.

The Mercedes legend was set to be back in the paddock for the Spanish Grand Prix, but was forced to postpone his return to the grid.

The Austrian had suffered multiple health problems in recent years, and had a lung transplant last year. 

Lauda’s brother, Florian, confirmed that the F1 legend was undergoing further treatment for the lung. 

He said in 2018: “Due to kidney problems, he had to be transferred from the rehabilitation centre to a private clinic for dialysis”

The F1 legend also had two kidney transplants in 1997 and 2005.

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