Niki Lauda's passing has sadden many across the motorsport world. Photo: Nelson Antoine/AP Photo

Ferrari on Tuesday said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of Austrian driver Niki Lauda who won two world championships with the Italian constructor.

"Everyone at Ferrari is deeply saddened at the news of the death of our dear friend Niki Lauda," Ferrari said on its official Twitter account after Lauda, 70, died late Monday.

"He won two of his three world championships with us and will always be in our hearts and in those of all Ferrari fans. Our sincere condolences go to all his family and friends. #CiaoNiki."

Lauda raced four seasons with Ferrari, from 1974 to 1977. He won the world championship with the team in 1975 and 1977.

He was driving a Ferrari when he suffered a horrific crash in 1976, staging a near-miraculous comeback to win two more titles and going on to become a successful entrepreneur, founding his own airline.

While Formula One organisers said Lauda will never be forgotten.

"Rest in peace Niki Lauda. Forever carried in our hearts, forever immortalised in our history. The motorsport community today mourns the devastating loss of a true legend.

"The thoughts of everyone at F1 are with his friends and family."

Lauda won his final championship at the McLaren and the team also expressed their sadness at his passing.

"All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague ... Niki Lauda, has passed away. Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history."

Former Formula One Champion Nico Rosberg, expressed a heartfelt message about Lauda who made an impact on a lot of drivers, past and present. 

"Thank you for everything that you did for me. I learned so much from you.

"Your passion, your fighting spirit, to never give up, your belief that you always meet twice in life, and even your patience with us youngsters.

"Myself and... 100 million fans around the world whom you also so strongly inspired to never give up in the hardest of times are thinking of you and your family... Rest in peace."

Casey Stoner, former MotoGP world champion

"RIP Niki Lauda, a true icon and motorsport legend. Thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this time." 

AFP Reuters