Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies, aged 70
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Formula One legend Niki Lauda who survived horrendous burns to become an airline entrepreneur has died aged 70, after a period of ill health.
Lauda won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren.
In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.
The comeback became the stuff of legend and his battle with Britain's James Hunt was the subject of the hit movie 'Rush.'
Lauda has twice undergone kidney transplants, in 1997 and 2005. His brother Florian donated an organ for the first operation and his wife Brigit did the same for the second.
Journalist Thomas Meyer from Der Standard tweeted: 'Niki Lauda is dead! The legendary Formula One World Champion was 70 years old.'
After retirement from racing he also became an airline entrepreneur, and had agreed to sell his controlling stake in Laudamotion to Ryanair.
At the start of the year Lauda was in hospital in Vienna with the flu, five months after undergoing a lung transplant.
He was flown in early January from the Spanish island of Ibiza where he had been vacationing to a hospital in the Austrian capital.
Lauda, who received a new lung on August 2 last year, was non-executive chairman of Mercedes.
He has had a close working relationship with five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and was involved in helping to sign the British driver from McLaren for the 2013 season.
Hamilton has won four of his titles with Mercedes, including the past two and in 2014 and '15.
- Daily Mail