Austrian F1 champion Niki Lauda dies aged 70

Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.

The former racing driver "passed away peacefully", his family said on Monday in a statement reported by the Austria Press Agency.

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DAMON HILL AND NIKI LAUDA IN MONACO
Niki Lauda, Ferrari
Austrian Niki Lauda celebrates victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch after winning in his McLaren-Ford. Second place finisher Didier Pironi (l) doesn't look too disappointing with his afternoons work
Niki Lauda approaches Surtees Corner in his Brabham Parmalat Alfa Romeo BT48
Austrian Niki Lauda celebrates victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch after winning in his Marlboro McLaren
NIKI LAUDA CHATS TO DRIVER GERHARD BERGER
9-MAR-96 ... Eddie Irvine (right) explains the handling of the Ferrari to Niki Lauda before finishing third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix
16-MAY-96 ... Michael Schumacher talks to Niki Lauda about the disappointing performance of his Ferrari
Nigel Mansell (left) chats to Niki Lauda (right) on the pitlane wall
Niki Lauda chats to Michael Schumacher in the garage during this mornings practice
l-r; Niki Lauda, Jaguar Racing and Bernie Ecclestone
Niki Lauda and Birgit Lauda attend the premier of Rush at Odeon Leicester Square, London.
Mercedes Toto Wolff (left) and Niki Lauda during the practice day at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton with Niki Lauda during the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Prince Michael of Kent with Niki Lauda in the garages during practice day for the 2015 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (centre right) celebrates his victory and winning the 2015 Formula One World Championship alongside teammate Nico Rosberg (centre left), Niki Lauda and the rest of the Mercedes team after the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, USA.
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Tributes poured in for the Austrian, who was called a "legend" by British racing driver Jenson Button.

He tweeted: "A legend has left us. Rest in peace Niki."

Lauda was also mourned by the McLaren Formula One team, who wrote: "All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away.

"Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history."

Lauda narrowly escaped death in 1976 when his Ferrari crashed at the Nurburgring in Germany.

He made a miraculous recovery despite horrific burns and finished second in the championship to James Hunt.

He went on to win two of his three titles as well as becoming a prominent figure in the aviation industry.

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