ObituaryNiki Lauda, three-times F1 world champion who survived horrific crash

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Niki Lauda, three-times F1 world champion who was back behind the wheel weeks after surviving a horrific crash – obituary

Lauda celebrating victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1984: one of the great F1 drivers, noted for his cool and clinical approach, and for his courage
Lauda celebrating victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1984: one of the great F1 drivers, noted for his cool and clinical approach – and for his courage Credit: PA

Niki Lauda, who has died aged 70, was a three-times Formula One world champion, winning two of his titles after surviving a near-fatal crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix; on retiring from motor racing he became an aviation entrepreneur, establishing commercial airline businesses in his native Austria.

Driving for Ferrari, Lauda had taken his first world title in 1975, and won four of the first six races in the new season, finishing second in the other two. By the time the drivers gathered for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on August 1, he had amassed 61 world championship points, 35 clear of his nearest rivals, James Hunt and Patrick Depailler.

In those days death and serious injury…

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