September 18, 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
Marquez earns doubly valuable victory in San Marino

By Juan Antonio Llados

Spain claims gold at Basketball World Cup after thrashing Argentina

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spain basketball men's national team won Sunday its second FIBA World Cup crown after overcoming Argentina 95-75 in the final...

Maradona makes stumbling debut as Gimnasia coach

Buenos Aires, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Diego Maradona had a bitter first outing as the new coach for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, falling to Racing Club 2-1...

Marquez tops Quartararo in thrilling end to San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) on Sunday prevailed over Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M...

Bodybuilding gains ground in Gaza

Palestinian bodybuilders were competing in a fitness championship in Gaza City on Sunday. Over 70 gyms have been set up in Gaza in just over a decade as...

France grabs basketball World Cup bronze from Australia

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball team of France earned Sunday the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup held in China at the expense...

Suzuki earns his maiden Moto3 victory at San Marino

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Japanese rider Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) on Sunday earned his maiden victory at Misano's World Circuit Marco...

Real Sociedad downs Atletico 2-0 in new stadium, Barca routs Valencia 5-2

San Sebastian, Spain, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The fiesta celebrating Real Sociedad's new stadium - formerly Anoeta, now Reale Arena - was complete as the home...

Man City stunned by Norwich, fall 5 points behind league-leading Liverpool

Norwich, England, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Two-time defending champion Manchester City find themselves five points behind league-leading Liverpool after stumbling...

Close battle expected between surprise FIBA World Cup finalists

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Argentina and Spain will face off on Sunday at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena for the FIBA Basketball World Cup title, a clash...

Gimnasia y Esgrima ready for Maradona's much-anticipated debut

By Sebastian Meresman

Viñales snatches pole position from Espargaro for San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Spanish rider Maverick Viñales of Yamaha snatched pole position from his compatriot Pol Espargaro of KTM ahead of the...

Benzema leads Madrid to 3-2 win over Levante

Madrid, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid on Saturday prevailed over Levante 3-2 and earned its first home-league win of the season on the strength of a brace...

Quartararo sets the pace in 3rd practice session ahead of San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- France's Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M 1) on Saturday topped his Spanish teammate Maverick Viñales in the third...

Australia seeks to bag historic bronze against powerful France

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball teams of Australia and France are set to put up a tenacious fight over the weekend as the two...

France out, Argentina to play Spain in Basketball World Cup final

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Argentina booked a place in the Basketball World Cup final in China on Friday after defeating France 80-66.

Inspired Areola hopes for a great season with Real Madrid

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was thrilled during his presentation as a Real Madrid player on Friday for getting to wear the...

Soccer and language lessons help young refugees integrate in Belgium

By Laura Zornoza

Kobe Bryant: Days of US Dream Team are over

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Kobe Bryant said that the days of America's 1992 Barcelona Olympics "Dream Team" are over, at a Basketball World Cup press...

Spain reaches basketball world cup final after win over Australia

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spain beat Australia and went through to the Basketball World Cup final in China after a double overtime Friday.

Mourinho: "Messi made me a better coach"

By Luis Villarejo

Zinedine Zidane says Eden Hazard is ready for Real Madrid debut

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday that Belgium forward Eden Hazard is prepared to debut with the Spanish club...

Alonso teams up with Coma in Lichtenburg 400

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spanish two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will pair up with five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike...

Tokyo Olympics organizers test artificial snow machines to beat the heat

Tokyo, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games used artificial snow machines on Friday to test their...

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