Niki Lauda was an absolute colossus of the sport who had a profound effect on many of the drivers and teams in the paddock, so it’s no surprise to see the lengths some have gone to in order to pay tribute to the man.
Sebastian Vettel has gone with a fantastic Lauda-style helmet, featuring photos of the moment he won each of his world titles.
Vettel said it would be nice to “take him around for a couple of final laps around Monaco.” It’s an awesome gesture.
The team is also paying tribute by adding Lauda’s name to the car in the same script that featured on his Ferraris from 1974-1977.
Haas has also put Lauda’s name on its car, using the same script across the engine cover of the VF-19.
Red Bull and Toro Rosso are both running this special decal on the bargeboards:
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) May 23, 2019
Williams and George Russell are also featuring small tributes…
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) May 23, 2019
…as is Racing Point, with a small helmet logo on the Halo.
McLaren has also added Niki’s name to its car:
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 23, 2019
Understandably, given Lauda’s role with the team for much of this decade, Mercedes has been hit hard by his passing. Lewis Hamilton cancelled his scheduled media sessions ahead of the weekend, and an emotional Toto Wolff described Niki as “the heart and the soul of F1”.
Therefore, the team has gone all-out with its tributes. There’s a message on the nosecone…
…a single red star on the engine cover (which will remain for the rest of the season)…
…and, following Thursday practice, the Halo of both cars has been painted red.
The team has even hung one of Niki’s iconic red caps on his headset.
Rest well, Niki. A true sporting icon.