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BillB

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Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda, who was immortalized in the movie Rush after surviving horrendous burns in a race crash before running his own airline, dies aged 70 - eight months after a lung transplant 

Niki Lauda dies aged 70: Austrian Formula 1 legend passes away at Swiss Clinic

Niki Lauda (left in his heyday in the 1970s and right with his wife Brigit), who won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren, passed away on Monday - eight months after undergoing a lung transplant. He was considered one of the sport's greatest ever drivers and in 1976 was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix (pictured inset), but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later. In a statement, his family said: 'With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday. 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.' His comeback in 1976 after suffering severe burns became the stuff of legend and his battle with Britain's James Hunt, Lauda and Hunt argue about who was to blame for a crash between the two at Zolder race track, Belgium) was the subject of the hit movie 'Rush.' 

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