Motorsport figures pay tribute to Niki Lauda

The world of motorsport has paid tribute to Niki Lauda following the news of his death on Monday night.

The three-time world champion was an inspirational figure in the sport and had ties with a large number of teams and drivers.

He won two titles with Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 before returning from retirement to win a third with McLaren in 1984. He went on to become chairman of the Mercedes Formula One team, and his business partner and close friend Toto Wolff was among those who paid tribute to Lauda on Tuesday morning

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal

"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.

"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."

Lewis Hamilton



Chase Carey, Formula One CEO

"It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Niki Lauda. Formula One has lost not only one of the truly great exponents of the sport but also one of its heroes. His love of racing and the courage he demonstrated were simply extraordinary and he inspired so many fans. His passing is a great loss for the entire Formula One family and motorsport as a whole. All our thoughts go out to his family."

Jean Todt, FIA president

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO

"The motorsports world has lost its greatest fighter. The Mercedes-family has lost an amazing mentor. And I have lost a true friend. Thanks Niki!"

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes driver

Nico Rosberg, 2016 champion and former Mercedes driver

"Dear Niki. Thank you for everything that you did to 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 ever your patience with us youngsters. Myself and all of your 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 and wish that you Rest in Peace."

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal

George Russell, Williams driver

Esteban Ocon, Mercedes reserve driver

Martin Brundle, F1 driver and commentator

Fernando Alonso, two-time champion

Jenson Button, 2009 world champion

Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver

Carlos Sainz, McLaren driver

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari driver

Damon Hill, 1996 world champion