Formula 1 legend dead at 70
Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family has confirmed.
The three-time F1 world champion passed away peacefully on Tuesday (AEST) - five months after undergoing a lung transplant - The Sun reports.
"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday," his family said in a statement.
"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 won three world titles as a Formula One driver in 1975, 1977 and 1984 with Mercedes and Ferrari.
The F1 titan was severely burned in a near-fatal crash in 1976 and incredibly came back to the sport, winning his second world championship a year later.
The comeback became the stuff of legend and his battle with Britain's James Hunt was the subject of the hit movie 'Rush.'
He was appointed as Mercedes' non-executive chairman in 2012 and was involved in the signing of Lewis Hamilton to the team.
He is also an airline entrepreneur and recently agreed to sell his controlling stake in Laudamotion to Ryanair.
According to reports in Austria, he initially became ill while on holiday in Ibiza and flew back to Vienna.
His condition became worse, which is when doctors decided to operate.
As a result of Lauda's fireball injuries contracted 42 years ago, he has had two kidney transplants.
His brother Florian donated an organ in 1997 and his wife Brigit did the same in 2005.
Florian Lauda was quoted confirming his Formula 1 legend brother earlier this year needed dialysis treatment after his health began to deteriorate.
"Due to kidney problems, he had to be transferred from the rehabilitation centre to a private clinic for dialysis," Florian Lauda said.
The death of the world champion has rocked the sport just days out from the start of the Monaco Grand Prix - the jewel in the sport's crown.
Formula 1 earlier this year also lost icon Charlie Whiting when the veteran racing steward died less than 24 hours after the 2019 Formula 1 season was launched in Melbourne.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the history of Formula 1, Whiting died at the age of 66 after suffering a pulmonary embolism just one day before he was scheduled to officiate the Australian Grand Prix.
LAUDA 'ENSHRINED' IN FORMULA 1 HISTORY
Formula 1 team McLaren has led the the heartbroken motorsport world in remembering the three-time world champion.
Lauda remains the only driver to ever win world championships with both Ferrari and McLaren.
The iconic F1 outfit posted on social media that Lauda "will forever be in our hearts".
- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk