VIENNA (AP)  – Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.

The Austria Press Agency reported Lauda’s family saying in a statement he “passed away peacefully” on Monday.  Walter Klepetko, a doctor who carried out a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”

Lauda won Formula One world championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984 and was the only driver to have won a world title with powerhouse teams Ferrari and McLaren. His rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the subject of the film “Rush.”

“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday, May 20, 2019,” a family statement read. “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 twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.

In August last year, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.”

People from across the motorsports world shared their condolences and remembrances on Twitter:

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide