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F1 drivers and bosses pay final respects to Niki Lauda

Pictures – Reuters

The funeral of three times champion and Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has taken place in the Austrian capital Vienna. The three times champion passed away last week and will lay in state for the next few days following his funeral.

Many of his Mercedes team including Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and CEO and team principal Toto Wolff attended the private mass at the cities St Stephen’s Cathedral.

Outside hundreds of fans queued in the rain to pay their last respects to the motorsport legend as he lay in state.

Members of Lauda’s family accompanied pallbearers carrying his remains into the gothic cathedral in the morning. His wife Birgit and two of his sons placed Lauda’s red-and-white driver’s helmet on the casket.

Hamilton Tweeted “That was for you, Niki. Your fighting spirit was right there with me every step of the way. I know you are looking down and taking your hat off to us. I miss you, we truly miss you and I hope we did you proud today, legend.”

Austrian Hollywood legend and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was among those to speak at the ceremony, along with Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger and Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen.

All the current team principals Christian Horner, Mattia Binotto, Franz Tost, Gunther Steiner, Otmar Szafnauer and Claire Williams, also attended.

The actor who played Lauda in the film Rush, Daniel Bruhl also attended and there were messages from the Schumacher’s.

The three times world champion will be best remembered for his comeback from a fiery crash in 1976 that left him badly burned and scarred him for life, died last week at the age of seventy.

Lauda’s former teammate Alain Prost will give a reading from the Old Testament at the private ceremony, the Vienna archdiocese said.

Fellow Austrian racing driver Gerhard Berger, Austrian-born star Arnold Schwarzenegger and two Austrian dignitaries, President Alexander Van der Bellen and recently ousted Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, gave short speeches at the end of the service.

Following last weeks European Elections, Bellen’s coalition fell apart and drew some attention away from the national hero’s death.

Around five hundred guests attended a Requiem Mass, which was also open to members of the public but took place behind closed doors.

Related
Mercedes chairman and three times champion Niki Lauda dies aged seventy
F1 Today – Lauda Remembered – 21/05/2019

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Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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