Lewis Hamilton has taken to social media to post a tribute to his friend and colleague Niki Lauda, who sadly passed away on Tuesday morning. The pair were together at Mercedes, and the Austrian is often said to be the individual who convinced Hamilton to join the Silver Arrows.
Lauda received a lung transplant in August of last year and had since been recovering, but was suffering from a kidney illness in more recent months. His family released a statement confirming his death on Tuesday.
In 2012 he was appointed as non-executive chairman of Mercedes, and he played a key role in the negotiations for Hamilton to join the team for the 2013 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton spoke of his sorrow at his friend’s death both on Twitter and Instagram.
“I’m struggling to believe you are gone. I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together. God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I’ll always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man,” the five-time world champion wrote.
In a slightly longer post on Instagram, he mentions Lauda for convincing him to join the team.
“My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone. I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together. It’s truly been an honour working alongside you over these past 7 years. I wouldn’t have even been in this team if it wasn’t for you.
“God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I’ll always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man. Your friend always, Lewis.”
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