Last week, the world lost one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history – Niki Lauda. If you managed to catch the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, you would also have seen the numerous tributes and ceremonies made by fans, drivers, teams, and even the organizers alike, all in honor of Lauda. In fact, the Austrian driver was even buried with full state honors and attended by the Austrian President himself.
Prior to his burial, fans had the opportunity to say goodbye to the three-time Formula 1 champion after his body was placed in a closed casket inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Lauda was dressed in a Ferrari racing suit and was subsequently buried wearing it. On top of his casket, Lauda's widow, Birgit, put his racing helmet in honor of the man's achievements in the sport.
Lauda's ceremony was attended by a number of motorsports greats, including reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton, his former teammate, Nico Rosberg, and Hamilton's current teammate, Valtteri Bottas. Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, and FIA president, Jean Todt, were also present. Other guests at the ceremony included Lauda's former teammate, Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart, and David Coulthard.
Niki Lauda passed away last May 20 at the age of 70 following a period of ill health. He rose to motorsport fame when he suffered a near-fatal crash at the Nurburgring in 1976. Despite almost succumbing to his injuries, Lauda bounced back eventually finishing in second behind James Hunt in the championship. The Austrian won his final title in 1984 with McLaren before retiring in 1985.