Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda has passed away, aged 70.
The Austrian had been battling health issues since mid-last year, including a lung transplant in August that required a two-month stay in hospital.
He was then hospitalised again for a short period at the beginning of 2019 after contracting a flu infection. There have been reports from Austrian press in the recent days that he had been receiving kidney dialysis in Switzerland.
Sadly, it has now been confirmed that he has succumbed to his ill health, passing away on Monday surrounded by family.
“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” his family said in a statement issued to Austrian media.
“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.”