Formula One legend Niki Lauda dies aged 70

Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, a family spokeswoman said in a statement.

"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday," it said in the statement.

Niki Lauda at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.Credit:AAP

"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."

Lauda, who won three world championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984, received a lung transplant last year and was hospitalised with the flu in January.

Lauda's head was badly burned in a fiery crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976 and his lungs were damaged by toxic smoke.

Following his retirement from driving in 1985, Lauda had held a number of prominent positions within Formula One.

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