World champion Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to Niki Lauda by saying he was “a bright light in my life”.
Lauda, who won the Formula 1 drivers’ championship in 1975, 1977 and 1984, died aged 70.
Hamilton worked alongside Lauda with the Mercedes F1 team, where the Austrian was non-executive chairman.
“I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together,” Briton Hamilton said on Twitter.
Lauda helped Mercedes win both the drivers’ and constructors’ title in the past five seasons.
Five-time world champion Hamilton added: “I am struggling to believe you are gone. God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I will always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man.”
Lauda competed in a total of 171 F1 races, winning 25 of them and claiming 54 podium finishes.
Monger inspired by Lauda advice
Billy Monger says advice from Lauda helped inspire him in his comeback to motor racing after having both his legs amputated.
Monger, 20, was seriously injured during a Formula 4 race at Donington Park in April 2017 but claimed his first victory since the accident by winning the Pau Grand Prix on Sunday.
Monger said on The One Show: “I had the opportunity to meet Niki back at the 2017 British Grand Prix, when I was a guest of Lewis [Hamilton], a few months after my accident.
“I was so early on in my recovery that, although I wanted to get back racing, I didn’t know whether it would be possible or not.
“He gave me some really strong words of advice – if it’s something you really want to do, don’t let anyone stand in your way, just work as hard as you can at it. That’s what I did and here we are.”