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  1. ITV Report

Formula One legend Niki Lauda's life in pictures

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger

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

Tributes have been pouring in for the Austrian star from the racing world and beyond.

Niki Lauda in 1974 was a three-times F1 champion. Credit: AP
Niki Lauda during the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires in 1975. Credit: AP

F1 described him as a "true legend", while McLaren said he will "forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history".

Lauda made one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history when he returned to the racetrack just 43 days after narrowly escaping death in a horrific crash which left him with third-degree burns.

The scene after Niki Lauda's crash. Credit: AP
Niki Lauda announced just six weeks after his crash that he would start the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Credit: AP
Niki Lauda, won the F1 in 1975, 1977, and 1984. Credit: AP

Lauda made a miraculous recovery after the crash, despite horrific burns and finished second in the championship to James Hunt, returning to the track at the Italian Grand Prix just 43 days later.

The rivalry between the pair was later made into a film starring Daniel Bruhl as Lauda and Chris Hemsworth as Hunt in 2013.

Niki Lauda and James Hunt had an intense rivalry. Credit: AP

The rivalry between Lauda and Hunt was turned into the 2013 film Rush.

Niki Lauda and his wife Birgit attend the premier of Rush in 2013. Credit: AP

More than a racer, Lauda founded airline, Lauda Air, and later established another called Niki in 2003.

Lauda with former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher. Credit: AP

Paying tribute to the father-of-five, Lauda's family said his "unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and remain unforgettable.

"His tireless drive, his straightforwardness and his courage remain an example and standard for us all.

"Away from the public gaze, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather.

"We will miss him very much."

Nikki Lauda and Ferrari teammate Clay Regazzione. Credit: AP
Lauda and Hunt race, with the Austrian in the lead. Credit: AP
Niki Lauda meets Nonja, a talented orangutan at Vienna's Schoenbrunn zoo in November 1995. Credit: AP
Niki Lauda, founder of Lauda Air, is greeted by a group of Showgirls after he arrives in Las Vegas in September 1997. Credit: AP
Wife Birgit Wetzinger and Niki Lauda arrive at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in January 2014. Credit: AP