Niki Lauda Austrian Formula 1 legend dies at 70 months after lung transplant

Niki Lauda Austrian Formula 1 legend dies at 70 months after lung transplant

Curtains have fallen on Formula One legend, Niki Laida, eight months after undergoing life-saving lung transplant.

The three-time F1 world champion is said to have passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, May 20, aged 70.

His heartbroken family has since paid tribute to him, mourning him as a "tireless zest for action, straightforwardness and courage."

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"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," his family's statement said.

Lauda will be fondly remembered for his historic comeback to motor racing after suffering third degree burns in a near-fatal crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix.

He went in to stun the world after winning his second world championship a year later.

However, despite surviving the crash and the incredible return to racing, the incident is believed to have taken a huge toll on his health.

He was left battling health problems for decades which saw him undergo two kidney transplants, with one donated by his Florian brother and the other from his wife.

His latest round of numerous hospital visits came in August 2018 and had to undergo a lung transplant after being diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.

After his racing career, Lauda became an airline entrepreneur, founding his own airline, Niki, in 2003.

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