Shock as F1 racing legend dies

FORMULA One legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his heartbroken family has confirmed.

The three-time F1 world champion passed away peacefully on Monday – eight months after undergoing a lung transplant.

“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” his family said in a statement.

“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.”

British racing driver Jenson Button led the tributes, saying: “A legend has left us. Rest in peace Niki.”

Lauda won three world titles as a Formula One driver in 1975, 1977 and 1984 with Mercedes and Ferrari.

The F1 titan was severely burned in a near-fatal crash in 1976 and incredibly came back to the sport, winning his second world championship a year later.

More to follow…