Former Austrian driver Niki Lauda, triple Formula One world champion, has died, his family announced in a statement.
“It is with great pain that we announce that our dear Niki passed away peacefully on May 20, 2019, surrounded by his family,” reported the relatives of the 70-year-old pilot and businessman.
Lauda had undergone a lung transplant last summer that forced him to be hospitalized for several months, and last January he had to be hospitalized again because of a flu that he contracted during the previous Christmas in Ibiza (Spain), where the former pilot had his second residence.
Last February, Lauda had turned 70 years old.
“His unique achievements as an athlete and as a businessman are and will always be unforgettable. His inexhaustible dynamism, his rectitude and his courage will be a model and a reference for all of us “, recalled his family in the note in which he announced his death.
Lauda had already undergone kidney transplants in 1997 and 2015, in the latter case thanks to the donation of the organ by his then girlfriend and now widow Birgit. EFE