Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has passed away at the age of 70. He was a three-time Formula 1 world champion and was regarded as one of the all-time greatest driver’s in the world. Lauda’s family announced in a statement on Monday that he was no more and had passed away peacefully with his family.
Niki Lauda made his Formula 1 Debut in 1971 and he first won the title in 1975 when he was driving for Ferrari. He was badly burnt in an accident at the Nurburgring Nordschleife while defending the title from the challenger, friend and fellow racer James Hunt. Ron Howard’s biopic called ‘Rush’ is on this very subject. Six weeks later, Lauda was back behind the wheel at the Italian Grand Prix. In 1976, James Hunt won the Formula 1 season but the following year Lauda reclaimed the title.
Lauda left Ferrari and joined Brabham in 1978 but then in 1979, he left the Canadian Grand Prix rather abruptly during a practice session. In 1982 he made a comeback with McLaren and in 1984 he secured the third world championship before finally retiring in 1985.
After his retirement, Niki Lauda took a management role in racing teams like Ferrari, Jaguar and most recently Mercedes. It was Lauda who convinced Lewis Hamilton to leave McLaren and join Mercedes. Apart from a successful racing career he was also an entrepreneur and a licensed pilot and had set up an airline based in Vienna called ‘Lauda Air’ in 1979.
He had undergone a lung transplant in August last year and in January was also hospitalized for influenza. Our deepest condolences and regards to his family in this time of despair. Niki will always be immortalized in our hearts. A LEGEND, truly.