Wolff: Niki’s passing leaves a void in Formula 1

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has lost a friend, partner, confidante and mentor in the passing of Niki Lauda today, the Austrian duo built the mightiest Formula 1 team in history, transforming Brawn GP into the all-conquering Silver Arrows of today.

This is what Wolff had to say of his loss: “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 1. 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 simply 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.”

Inside Line: A few hours with the real Niki