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Niki Lauda dies, aged 70

  • Published on 21 May 2019 07:13
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Three-time Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.

Lauda had been suffering from health issues in recent months, undergoing a lung transplant in August of 2018.

Lauda won the F1 world championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari, before taking his final championship in 1984 racing with McLaren.

His last win in Formula 1 was at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort in 1985, meaning Lauda will be the reigning winner at Zandvoort when F1 returns to the Dutch circuit next season.

Following his retirement from racing, Lauda founded and worked on his own airline. He remained attached to Formula 1, taking on managerial roles with Ferrari and Jaguar.

Lauda's recent successes were found at the Mercedes F1 team, as he took on the role of non-executive chairman and helped mould it into the force it is today. He had a large role to play in convincing Lewis Hamilton to join the Silver Arrows in 2013 from McLaren.

It became clear in recent weeks that Lauda would most likely not return to the F1 paddock. His Mercedes contract expired at the end of 2020, and is believed to have notified some of his paddock friends about his intentions to not return.

Lauda's career involved one of the most well-known and life-changing crashes in the history of the sport. In 1976, he crashed at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, suffering massive burn injuries.

During that year of 1976, he enjoyed a fight for the world championship against rival and friend James Hunt, a story that was put to film in the 2013 movie Rush.

The Austrian's health deteriorated over the last year, as he was admitted back to hospital in January with the flu following a holiday in Ibiza.

He spent several weeks in intensive care at the hospital but was discharged after a few weeks of treatment.

Replies (9)

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  • RIP Niki. Your presence enriched the sport and will surely continue to do so in the future.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 08:37
  • Truly sad news to wake up to. RIP Niki.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 08:41
  • Jutlandia

    Posts: 191

    A true racer has left the track.
    Rest In Peace Niki

    • + 1
    • May 21 2019 - 09:44
  • Olfacius

    Posts: 31

    Thank you Niki for being the champion you are.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 12:28
  • Thank you, Lauda. I was never a fan, but the guts you showed and the skills you possessed are never to be understated, and you will be remembered.

    • + 1
    • May 21 2019 - 12:32
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    Couple days ago I saw his video message from Oct/Nov to Mercedes team, I was surprised how bad he looked, I understood how serious it was but I haven't imagined it could be that bad.
    Goodbye Niki, now he will race with James again up there.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 13:23
  • zorba

    Posts: 1,585

    De F1 krijgt klappen eerst Charlie nu Niki , hopelijk is het spreekwoord verkeerd "nooit geen twee zonder drie"

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 17:46
  • One of the greatest, if not the greatest. His achievements are near mythical. Niki will be missed. RIP.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 18:32
  • Can't believe it, a legend has passed but the legend will live on...........After Stewart and before Prost/Senna there was Lauda - what a man, what a hero. Wish I'd met you in person, Godspeed Niki.

    • + 0
    • May 21 2019 - 22:00

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