Five-time Formula One (F1) champion Lewis Hamilton paid a fitting tribute to the late Niki Lauda by calling him “a bright light of my life.” Lauda, a three-time F1 champion, passed away on Monday. He was 70 at the time of his death. The legendary Austrian, best remembered for his miraculous recovery from a life-threatening injury in 1976, was instrumental in bringing Hamilton to Mercedes in 2013. The two later went on to form a great bond between them. Niki Lauda, Former Austrian Formula One Driver and 3 Times F1 World Champion Dies at the Age of 70, McLaren Pays Tribute.
“My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone. It's truly been an honour working alongside you over these past 7 years. I wouldn't have even been in this team if it wasn't for you,” said Hamilton in a post on Instagram. Lauda, a successful businessman, also was a non-executive chairman with the Mercedes F1 team where he worked alongside Hamilton. The Austrian was instrumental in guiding Mercedes to five successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships title.
Check Out This Instagram Post by Hamilton:
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My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone. I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together. It’s truly been an honour working alongside you over these past 7 years. I wouldn’t have even been in this team if it wasn’t for you. God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I’ll always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man. Your friend always, Lewis #oneofakind #gonetoosoon #youliveoninourhearts #restinpeace 📷 @motorsport.images
Watch This Video On Niki Lauda's Life:
“I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together,” added the 34-year-old British driver in his post. Lauda won three World Championship titles. His first two came for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977, while he won a third with McLaren in 1984. But it was his grit, passion and dedication for the racing circuit for which the Austrian was most loved. Sporting World Mourns Death of 'true Legend' Niki Lauda.
Just one year after winning his first title, Lauda suffered a horrific car crash which left him with third-degree burns to his head. He had also inhaled toxic gases after his vehicle had burst into flames. This left him with severe damages in his lungs and in a life-threatening situation.
But Lauda remarkably recovered and returned to race just 40 days later after the accident. He even went on to win a third title a year after the incident. “God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I'll always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man. Your friend always,” captioned Lewis in an emotional post.