A number of key figures from Formula 1 have joined thousands of fans in paying their respects as three-time world champion Niki Lauda is laid to rest in Vienna.
Lauda passed away last week at the age of 70, with F1 paying tribute to the former Mercedes non-executive chairman throughout the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, including a minute of silence before the race from the drivers wearing red caps in Lauda’s memory (pictured). Lewis Hamilton joined Sebastian Vettel in wearing Lauda’s helmet design, as the pair finished first and second in Sunday’s race.
“I wore Niki’s helmet colors and I didn’t want to let him down,” Hamilton said. “He was close to my heart, I was determined not to crack under the pressure.”
Today, thousands of mourners were able to file past Lauda’s coffin — topped with his racing helmet — after it was placed in St Stephen’s cathedral in the Austrian capital. Following that, hundreds attended a Requiem Mass, where the likes of Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Christian Horner, Nico Rosberg, Alain Prost, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Helmut Marko and Gerhard Berger were present.
Lauda’s coffin was then carried from the cathedral ahead of a smaller private burial ceremony later on Wednesday, with crowds braving the rain outside to pay their respects.
The Austrian — who won two drivers’ championships with Ferrari in 1975 and 1977, and one with McLaren in 1984 — remained a large presence in the paddock as a result of his more recent work as a pundit with German television and in his Mercedes role, helping the team win five consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles since 2014.
Mercedes will carry a red star on the engine cover of its F1 car from now on in memory of Lauda, a tribute it ran in Monaco.