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Formula One Legend Niki Lauda Dies

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Three-time Formula One world champion, Niki Lauda, has died at age 70.

Lauda won the F1 driver’s titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984 and is most remembered for surviving and recovering from a fiery crash at the Nurburgring track during the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Lauda competed in 171 F1 races, amassed 25 wins and 54 podium finishes to go along with his three world championships.

After retiring from F1 racing in 1985, Lauda went on to work briefly for Ferrari and Jaguar F1 teams and, as he was a pilot, founded two airlines, one of which he sold to Austrian Airlines, before becoming a 10% shareholder and non-executive chairman of the current world champion Mercedes F1 team.

In the Nurburgring crash, Lauda suffered third-degree burns to his head and face that left him scarred for life, inhaled toxic gases that damaged his lungs, and the accident ended the Nurburgring’s time as a Formula 1 circuit.

Last year, Lauda was diagnosed with a severe lung infection and had a double lung transplant and in January of this year, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and taken back into hospital in Vienna. According to his family, he “passed away peacefully” on Monday.

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