June 19, 2019
Latest News

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Vienna, May 21 (efe-epa).- Three-times Formula One world champion, racing team manager and airline businessman Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family said in a statement.

The Austrian, who was considered one of the best racing car drivers of all time, had undergone lung transplant surgery in August to try to repair injuries suffered in a horrific fireball crash in 1976.

"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday," Lauda's family said in the statement.

The transplant operation forced him to remain hospitalized for several months and in Jan. he had to be readmitted for 10 days because of influenza he contracted over Christmas in Ibiza, Spain, where the former racing driver had his second residence.

Andreas Nikolaus Lauda was born on Feb. 22, 1949, in Vienna into a wealthy family with links to industry.

His family disapproved of his racing ambitions, so Lauda took out a large bank loan and financed himself into Formula Two at the wheel of a March racing car. His ability soon saw him promoted to F1.

"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 family's statement added.

Lauda had already had two kidney transplants in 1997 and 2015, the second being an organ donation from his wife Birgit.

Lauda's F1 career began in 1971 and he won his first World Championship, the sport’s highest level of international competition, in 1974 driving for Ferrari.

F1 at that time was almost certainly the most dangerous sport in the world, claiming the lives of drivers at almost every major race.

“F1 is simply about controlling these cars and testing your limits,” Lauda told the United Kingdom's The Telegraph newspaper in 2015. “This is why people race — to feel the speed, the car and the control. If in my time you pushed too far, you would have killed yourself. You had to balance on that thin line to stay alive.”

At the 1976 German Grand Prix on the Nurburgring race track, he was involved in an accident when his Ferrari veered off the track, smashed into the embankment and burst into flames, with Lauda trapped in the burning wreckage.

Fellow drivers Arturo Merzario, Brett Lunger, Guy Edwards and Harald Ertl arrived at the scene moments later, but Lauda suffered severe burns to his head, lungs and bloodstream before Merzario was able to yank him from the blazing car.

The helmet Lauda had been wearing had slid off in the impact and exposed his head to the conflagration.

“Such were his injuries, which included facial burns and flame inhalation, that he was given the last rites,” F1 said in a statement. “At one stage he was not expected to survive. But by his own admission, he began an incredible fight back to life when he heard the priest administering those rites.”

Six weeks later, still wearing bandages and in pain, he was racing again and managed to come second in the championship just one point behind the winner, James Hunt of the UK. Lauda had missed just two races that season.

In Sept. 1979 Lauda informed Bernie Ecclestone, his Brabham team principal, that he was going to retire and he left to found Lauda Air, his own charter airline in Austria.

But he returned in 1982, joining the McLaren team with which he won his last world championship two years later. The following year he withdrew from F1 as a race driver.

Lauda continued his involvement in motorsport filling management positions, first as an adviser to Ferrari (1992-1997) and then for Jaguar and Mercedes.

He is credited with having persuaded current World Champion Lewis Hamilton to join the German team.

Lauda is survived by his second wife Birgit and their twin children Max and Mia. He also had two adult sons from his first marriage, Lukas and Mathias. Mathias is also a race car driver and his brother Lukas is his manager.

as/sp/uw/hh/jt

News history
Messi hopes to end drought with Argentine national team at Copa America

By Sebastian Meresman

Brazilian players warn that Peru's Guerrero can be a scoring machine

Salvador, Brazil, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Brazilian national soccer team players Marquinhos and Alisson praised Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero on Wednesday,...

Luis Enrique steps down as Spain's national team coach, Moreno takes helm

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Luis Enrique has Wednesday left his position as coach of Spain's national soccer team and will be replaced by his assistant,...

Biggest Africa Cup of Nations: golden opportunity for Salah

Cairo, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Egypt prepares to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the biggest in history with the country being tipped to win the tournament.

High-scoring Uruguay takes on Japan in Copa America

By Fernando Gimeno

UEFA appeal committee upholds Neymar's 3-match ban

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- UEFA's appeal committee Wednesday turned down an appeal filed by the Paris Saint Germain star Neymar against a three-match ban...

Real Madrid reinforces its defense with new signing Mendy

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid reinforced its defensive lineup with the inclusion of France left-back Ferland Mendy who was presented to fans at the...

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady tops NFL earnings list as retirement looms

New York, USA, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may be nearing retirement, but he still earns more royalties than any other NFL...

Brazil's Marta sets WC scoring record, team moves on to WWC Round of 16

International Sports Desk, 18 Jun (efe-epa) - Marta became the top scorer in the history of FIFA World Cups – including the men's tournament – after scoring...

Geraint Thomas passes medical after crashing out of Tour de Suisse

Arlesheim, Switzerland, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Last year's Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, was not seriously hurt Tuesday in the crash that forced him to...

Brazil's Dani Alves returns to the stadium where it all started

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

Sharapova makes victorious return to competition in Mallorca

Mallorca, Spain, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Maria Sharapova defeated Viktoria Kuzmovaof Slovakia on Tuesday in the 2019 Mallorca Open first round.

Garcia battles past Azarenka in Mallorca Open 1st round

Mallorca, Spain, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Caroline Garcia rallied Tuesday from a set down to earn a hard-fought win over Victoria Azarenka in the Mallorca Open...

Colombia vs Qatar: clash between Portugal's Queiroz, Spain's Sanchez

Sao Paulo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Colombia and Qatar national teams are set to square off against each other with the aim of moving a step closer to qualifying...

Amputee victims in Gaza hit soccer pitch with local team The Crutches

A soccer team in the Gaza Strip known as The Crutches is providing a platform for amputee victims of the Israeli-Paletinian conflict to get out on the...

Argentina and Paraguay to square off in Copa America battle of the reeling

By Sebastian Meresman

Real Madrid unveils new forward Rodrygo: I hope to make Madrid fans happy

Madrid, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid unveiled the latest component of its new squad for the upcoming season, Brazilian forward Rodrygo, at its Santiago...

Former UEFA president Platini held over awarding 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Paris, Jun 18 (EFE).- Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested on suspicion of corruption linked to a decision to award the 2022 World Cup to...

Chile starts title defense by trouncing Japan 4-0 in Copa America Group C

By Gerard Soler

2 people seriously injured during Raptors NBA championship celebration

Toronto, Canada, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- At least two people were seriously injured on Monday during the downtown Toronto celebration of the local Raptors' NBA...

Uruguay's Vecino undergoes medical tests, misses Copa America practice

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The Uruguayan national soccer team, which made its Copa America debut over the weekend with a 4-0 blowout of...

Totti attacks Roma’s owners as he leaves his career club

Rome, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Francesco Totti quit as director of Roma on Monday and held a press conference to criticize the Serie A club’s owners.

Copa America’s nearly empty stadiums

Porto Alegre (Brazil), Jun 17 (efe-epa).- If fans are the beating heart of soccer, the 2019 Copa America as a slow pulse as its stadium looked nearly empty...

Brazil seeks last-8 spot against a fearless Venezuela

Salvador, Brazil, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Brazil’s national team will seek to secure a berth in the 2019 Copa America quarterfinals at the expense of Venezuela,...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.