The racing world has lost a giant.
Niki Lauda, a three-time Formula 1 champion and beloved figured around the paddock as a non-executive chairman with Mercedes AMG Petronas, died on Monday night. He was 70-years-old.
The Austrian-born Lauda is most-famous for a horrific crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix at the feared Nurburgring which nearly cost him his life as his car exploded into a fiery blaze. Lauda was back in the saddle six weeks later in attempt to defend his lead in the world championship, which he famously lost out on to James Hunt. The two drivers and their historic ’76 season was depicted in the 2013 film “Rush.”
He won Drivers’ Championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari, and again in 1984 with McLaren.
Throughout Tuesday, figures from the racing community took to social media to share their memories of Lauda.
With F1 barreling into Monaco Grand Prix weekend, there’s sure to be more tributes for Lauda coming up.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Ripke/Mercedes AMG Petronas