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Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies aged 70

Former Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has passed away aged 70.

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He was born in Vienna Austria to wealthy parents, he had two sons from his first marraige, he married again in 2008 and his wife gave him two more children which was a boy and a girl.

Lauda found fame after several years with struggling teams with Ferrari in 1974, in tha year Lauda came second in his debut race in Argentina, the first for the team in two years!

In 1976 though Lauda ended up in a bad crash after previously warning fellow drivers and offiials about the dangers of the German Formula 1 circuit, it seemed no one listened, the race started and on the second lap Lauda crashed, and it was a bad crash as his car smashed into the barriers and burst into flames.

Lauda was trapped in his car, screaming for help, he was now breathing in toxic gases from his car which damaged his lungs and blood, it was said that he had to modify his helmet as the normal safety type would not fit him, because of this the helmet did not stay on his head and all his face was exposed.

Incredibly Lauda was still alert and got out of the car, he later collapsed and went into a coma.

He suffered extensive burns, he had been lef with scarring and damage to his ear, he wore a cap to cover up the damage that had been done in the fire.

Amazingly after all he went through, he was back racing after around 6-weeks! and finished 4h in the Italian Grand Prix, he pulled out of the next Grand Prix in Japan which damaged relations with his Ferrari team.

Lauda kept retiring then coming back until he decided once and for all to call it a day, he had big plans with his new airline ‘Lauda Air’ but then sold his shares to majority shareholder Austrian Airline in 1999.

Last Year Lauda went for a lung operation, it is believed he died in hospital in his sleep  after a period of ill health.

 

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