Austrian Formula One champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, according to his family.
“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” The Austria Press Agency reported his family said.
The racing legend earned F1 world champion titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984. He suffered severe burns in a horrific crash in 1976. Despite his injuries, he managed a comeback weeks later and went on to win two titles in the years that followed.
Lauda’s comeback and rivalry with British driver James Hunt were the focus of the 2013 film Rush directed by Ron Howard.
Spanish-born actor Daniel Brühl played Lauda in the film, and Hunt was portrayed by The Avengers actor Chris Hemsworth. The film received two Golden Globe nominations, including best motion picture – drama and best supporting actor for Brühl.
Lauda was born on Feb. 22, 1949. He remained closely involved with the Formula One circuit after retiring as a driver in 1985.
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