Ecclestone tributes Lauda: He leaves this world with pride
Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone spoke of a lingering relief after the passing of Niki Lauda, expressing satisfaction that the three-time world champion was taken out of his recent suffering. Lauda passed away aged 70 having suffered numerous medical issues in the past year.
Lauda was a bright presence in the F1 paddock until the middle of last season when he suffered an illness which necessitated a life-saving lung transplant.
Further complications set the Austrian back and it was reported last week that he had returned to hospital in Switzerland to receive dialysis treatment.
News of his passing was met with an outpouring of grief and tributes and Ecclestone, who managed Lauda until his first retirement from F1 in 1979 at Brabham, also remembered the best of Lauda.
"Niki always had his own opinion," Ecclestone told Blick. "And that is very rare in Formula 1.
"I visited him in Switzerland and he was already very weak. I was really worried.
"Unfortunately we saw all who were closer to him, meet their end.
"Now he is not suffering anymore. He was allowed to leave this world with pride, which is certainly better for him.
"Niki was an extraordinary person at all levels. He will not only be remembered in Formula 1."
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