Markus Shafer slips into Lauda’s seat at Mercedes

At the time of his death in May, the F1 legend was the team’s non-executive chairman, reporting directly to Daimler’s management board.

Lauda was also a 10 per cent owner of the F1 team, but it is not known what will happen to that share.

Mercedes has now named the new non-executive chairman – Markus Shafer – who Bild report “will do the job differently” to Lauda. For instance, he is not expected to appear at many grands prix or get involved in the team’s day-to-day decisions.

Still, Toto Wolff is confident that Mercedes’ parent company continues to support the F1 project. The commitment of our parent company has been fundamental to the team’s success and will continue to be so in the years ahead.”

Inside Line: A few hours with the real Niki