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Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies aged 70


22 May 2019 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family have confirmed. Lauda, who won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren, passed away on Monday - eight months after undergoing a lung transplant. He was considered one of the sport's greatest ever drivers and in 1976 was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.

He made his Formula 1 debut for the March team at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix and picked up his first points in 1973 with a fifth-place finish for BRM in Belgium. Lauda joined Ferrari in 1974, winning a Grand Prix for the first time that year in Spain and his first drivers' title with five victories the following season.

Facing tough competition from McLaren's James Hunt, he appeared on course to defend his title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nuerburgring during the German Grand Prix.
Several drivers stopped to help pull him from the burning car, but the accident would scar him for life - leaving him with third-degree burns to his head and neck. 

Lauda fell into a coma for a time and was given the last rites in hospital. He said that 'for three or four days it was touch and go'.

Lauda made his comeback just six weeks after the crash, head still bandaged, finishing fourth at Monza after overcoming his initial fears.

Despite Lauda's incredible comeback, he lost the driver's championship that season to Hunt, with whom he had a legendary rivalry. 

Their struggle for supremacy was depicted in the 2013 film Rush. Hunt was played by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, while Spanish-born actor Daniel Bruhl played the role 
of Lauda. 


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