Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has passed away at the age of 70 years, with the Austrian’s family confirming his death.

"With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday," Lauda’s family said in a statement, as reported by Austrian media.

"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," the statement said.

As pointed out by motorsport.com, Lauda underwent a lung transplant in August 2018, before heading back to hospital in early 2019.

The Austrian made his F1 debut in 1971, secured his first race win in 1974 and grabbed his first world title the following year. It was in 1976 he survived the crash at the Nürburgring that left him badly burned.