Earlier today, tragedy struck the Formula One paddock when F1 legend Niki Lauda passed away. The loss sent reverberations across the F1 field and everyone united to express their sorrow. One team that was more affected than anyone else, was the Mercedes team, especially team principal, Toto Wolff.
Speaking about the late Austrian, the Mercedes boss said, “First of all, on behalf of the team and all at Mercedes, I wish to send our deepest condolences to Birgit, Niki’s children, his family and close friends.”
“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport – he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside the cockpit.”
“His passing leaves a void in Formula One. We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula One. He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense.”
The Mercedes team boss went on to describe the impact that Niki Lauda had on them all. Wolff continued, “Our Mercedes team has also lost a guiding light. As a team-mate over the past six and a half years, Niki was always brutally honest – and utterly loyal.
“It was a privilege to count him among our team and moving to witness just how much it meant to him to be part of the team’s success.”
“Whenever he walked the floor in Brackley and Brixworth, or delivered one of his famous motivational speeches, he brought an energy that nobody else could replicate.
“Niki, you are quite simple irreplaceable, there will never be another like you. It was our honour to call you our Chairman – and my privilege to call you my friend.”
Now, with heavy hearts, the German outfit must look ahead to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have already done a clean sweep of the past five races. If they do win in Monaco, we can be sure that Niki Lauda is watching from the heavens with a smile on his face, if he isn’t racing James Hunt up there.