Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff has touchingly remembered Niki Lauda a year on from his death, describing the three-time champion as "my business partner, my travel companion, my sounding board, my coach".
On May 20, 2019, Lauda passed away following a period of ill health. After working closely with each other over the years, Wolff and Lauda had built a strong relationship.
Sharing some of the wisdom passed on by his fellow Austrian, Wolff said: "What did I learn from Niki? So much. From a personal standpoint, it is to never give up. Don’t ask for understanding, just get things done.
"Niki never complained. He was somebody that would be in pain and go through struggle, but he just sorted it out. The adversity that was thrown at him and the way that he coped with it is something that I really admired.
"Through the years our relationship developed, and I think we learned a lot from each other because we were so different, but his input and him being a sparring partner, a sounding board, and most important a friend, that would be with me, and in a hostile environment that is something I tremendously miss.
"But probably the most impressive personality trait was to never complain. Niki had so much adversity to overcome but you never heard one word of complaining and that is something that was truly admirable.
"Niki inspired me with his personality, with his resilient approach to things and also the way he was able to reinvent himself. He became a racing driver, created an airline, back to racing driver back to an airline and then heading the supervisory board of Mercedes Grand Prix – that is an amazing career."
Wolff has frequently stated that he never looks back at past results, electing only to look forward at races yet to happen, a trait he shared with Lauda, and one he believes aided their personal relationship.
"I think we have a lot of similarities," continued Wolff. "I am never looking back and I am not interested in the past race results and he wasn’t either. It is just today and tomorrow.
"I wish he would be around because we all miss him so much as a friend. I lost my business partner, my travel companion, my sounding board, my coach and we all in the team miss him tremendously."
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