Toto Wolff pays tribute to his ‘partner, coach and friend’ Niki Lauda

© Paul Ripke for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

On the first-year anniversary of Niki Lauda’s passing, Toto Wolff talked about what the legendary driver and manager meant to him.

Three-time F1 champion and Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda passed away on May 20 2019 and left the Formula 1 world in mourning. The loss hit Mercedes the hardest. Lauda has been instrumental in the team’s rise to the top of the sport, but most of all he was a friend and a mentor to many within the team.

Team boss Toto Wolff paid a fitting tribute to the great Austrian.

“What did I learn from Niki? So much,” started Wolff.

“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.

“I think we have a lot of similarities. 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,” concluded the Austrian.

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