‘There is a huge black cloud’: Toto Wolff’s emotional tribute to Niki Lauda

• Lauda joined Mercedes in 2012 just before Wolff’s arrival
• Wolff: ‘I look at pictures and find myself with tears’

The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, delivered an emotional tribute to Niki Lauda at the Monaco Grand Prix. The three-time world champion, who died on Monday aged 70, was non-executive chairman at the team. The pair had become close friends, as had Lewis Hamilton and Lauda, and Wolff said his driver and the whole team were sharing his grief and sadness.

Speaking in Monte Carlo before practice for the weekend’s race began, Wolff revealed how hard Lauda’s death had hit him. “The last 48 hours were terrible, I feel like a zombie,” he said.

Related: Lewis Hamilton takes time out after death of ‘close friend’ Niki Lauda

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda at Monaco, epic play-offs and a miraculous relay comeback | Classic YouTube

Also featuring a 974ft motorbike backflip, a career-ending table tennis rally and Francesco Totti being the boss

1) Niki Lauda died this week aged 70. The three-time F1 world champion survived a near-fatal accident and was a boss behind the wheel as well as a ferocious competitor. Here are some of his most iconic moments, the remarkable story of his career, some lovely tributes and a video obituary. And it’s the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, where Lauda enjoyed wins in 1975 and 1976. And get on board with Lauda’s vintage Ferrari at Monaco.

2) It’s the Football League play-off finals this weekend, and some of the teams taking part have been there before. Sunderland take on Charlton in the League One Wembley showpiece. Please let it repeat the chaotic brilliance of the 4-4 draw between the two sides at Wembley in 1998. Michael Gray missed the crucial penalty for Sunderland back then, but he was happy to recall an epic day’s football with Alan Curbishley 20 years later. Meanwhile, Tranmere face Newport in the League Two play-off final. Rovers were at Wembley only a year ago, beating Boreham Wood 2-1 in the National League play-off final despite being reduced to 10 men after 48 seconds. And Aston Villa will hope for a better outcome against Derby than last year, when Tom Cairney sliced through them in Fulham’s 1-0 win. You want more football? OK. Never try to humiliate Francesco Totti – he’s the boss. Cheeky finish wasn’t it? Speaking of which, here’s a school footballer getting inventive with his backside to convert a corner.

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton takes time out after death of ‘close friend’ Niki Lauda

• Hamilton excused from F1 media duties before Monaco GP
• Pair grew close after Lauda persuaded Briton to join Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has curtailed his pre-race activities before the Monaco Grand Prix as he comes to terms with the death of his friend Niki Lauda on Tuesday. Lauda was the non-executive chairman at Hamilton’s Mercedes team and had been instrumental in persuading the British driver to join them. Hamilton was withdrawn from the FIA press conference in Monte Carlo before it took place on Wednesday and did not speak to any media.

On Tuesday Hamilton issued a heartfelt tribute on Instagram to the three-time world champion, who died aged 70, and although scheduled to speak to the press on Wednesday his Mercedes team requested he was allowed to miss the conference.

Related: My friend Niki Lauda was a street-fighter and a shining talent in F1 | John Watson

Related: More than a machine: Niki Lauda was an F1 rebel in his own way

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Source: Formula 1

My friend Niki Lauda was a street fighter and a shining talent in F1 | John Watson

Niki changed people’s perceptions about motor racing and his remarkable range of qualities will be sadly missed

Niki Lauda and I raced both alongside and against one another and remained friends until his death. His qualities, abilities and achievements are rightly admired. The clarity of his thinking and pragmatism – he was an intelligent man, a street fighter, a three-times world champion and his comeback after the accident at the Nürburgring stands as the most courageous act I’ve seen any sportsperson ever make.

We first met in 1971 in the Formula Two championship when Niki had joined the March team. He had the famous Niki Lauda hat – a baseball cap with the name of the bank on it – and rocked up in a Porsche 911-S with a stunning girlfriend, immediately making his mark.

Related: More than a machine: Niki Lauda was an F1 rebel in his own way

Getting back into a car two races after his accident was a huge achievement

Related: The fast show: Niki Lauda’s five greatest F1 races | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda: looking back at the life of a Formula One legend – video obituary

The three-times Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, regarded as one of the finest racers of all time, has died at 70 after battling declining health.

In 1976, Lauda was almost killed at the German Grand Prix in one of the most famous accidents in the history of motorsport, but went on to make a remarkable recovery.

Chase Carey, the chairman and chief executive of the Formula One group, said: ‘His love of racing and the courage he demonstrated were simply extraordinary and he inspired so many fans.’

The Austrian also became a successful airline entrepreneur and went on to have senior roles in F1 management, most recently as non-executive chairman at Mercedes since 2012, where he helped bring Lewis Hamilton to the team.

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda obituary

Star racing driver who survived a near-fatal crash to win the Formula One world championship three times

Niki Lauda was attempting to win his second Formula One world title when he was almost killed in one of the most famous accidents in the history of motor sport. As his Ferrari caught fire after hitting a bank at high speed during the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda lay unconscious in the cockpit. Other drivers stopped and tried to help. One, Arturo Merzario, plunged into the flames to unbuckle the Austrian’s safety harness. Eventually he was extricated and taken to hospital, where he was treated for burns so severe that he was given the last rites.

Related: Niki Lauda: the three-time Formula One world champion’s life – in pictures

Related: More than a machine: Niki Lauda was an F1 rebel in his own way

Related: Niki Lauda, three-time Formula One world champion, dies aged 70

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda: a single-minded F1 champion who beat the best of his age | Richard Williams

Lauda was not an emotionless racing machine but a driven competitor who cared little for others’ opinions

A common view of Niki Lauda is that he was an emotion-free calculating machine, the antithesis of his great rival James Hunt. The misconception gained traction during their dramatic battle for the 1976 title, when the British crowd at Brands Hatch practically rioted after a first-lap collision with Lauda’s teammate threatened to eliminate Hunt from the race, and was revived by Daniel Brühl’s portrayal of the three-times world champion in the 2013 feature film Rush.

Related: Niki Lauda: the three-time Formula One world champion’s life – in pictures

‘He worked like a professional,’ Ferrari wrote, ‘meticulous in his preparation of both himself and his car’

Related: Niki Lauda, three-time Formula One world champion, dies aged 70

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda, three-time Formula One world champion, dies aged 70

• Austrian won three world titles between 1975 and 1984
• Driver suffered horrific injuries at German GP in 1976

The former Formula One driver and three-time world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family has said. The Austrian died overnight on Monday, eight months after receiving a lung transplant.

“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” the family said in a statement, according to the Austrian press agency. The statement paid tribute to “his unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur” and said “his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain. A role model and a benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, and he will be missed.”

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Source: Formula 1

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