Niki Lauda tries out a swing out in February 1982, the year he announced his return to F1 with McLaren.
David Ashdown/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In pictures: Niki Lauda, three-time Formula One champion

Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT) May 21, 2019

Niki Lauda tries out a swing out in February 1982, the year he announced his return to F1 with McLaren.
David Ashdown/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda, who recovered from a near-fatal accident to become one of motor racing's greatest drivers, has died at 70.

The Austrian, who built a new career as an airline entrepreneur after leaving the track, died peacefully on Monday, his family said in a statement sent to CNN.

Lauda was hospitalized earlier this year with influenza and underwent a lung transplant last year.

"His unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and will stay in our memory," the Lauda family said. "His tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain a role model and standard for all of us. Away from the public, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him.

Lauda won F1 titles with Ferrari and McLaren in 1975, 1977 and 1984, with two of the wins coming after the crash that almost cost him his life.