By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) - Three-time Formula 1 world champion Austrian Niki Lauda died at the age of 70, his family said on Tuesday.
The F1 legend passed away “peacefully” at the University Hospital in Zurich on Monday evening, his family said in a statement quoted in the Austrian Press Agency.
Ferrari, the former team of late champion, offered its condolences for his family and friends on Twitter.
"Everyone at Ferrari is deeply saddened at the news of the death of our dear friend Niki Lauda. He won two of his three world championships with us and will always be in our hearts and in those of all Ferrari fans. Our sincere condolences go to all his family and friends," Ferrari tweeted.
"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," McLaren also said in Twitter.
Lauda took the Formula 1 titles for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984.
He was hospitalized earlier this year with influenza and had undergone a lung transplant in last August.
At the 1976 German Grand Prix, after crashing into a barrier, Lauda's car went up in flames and he suffered serious burns. But, Lauda returned to Formula 1 six weeks later.
The 1976 race and his rivalry with British F1 driver James Hunt, the 1976 world champion, was storified in the 2013 feature film "Rush".