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Lauda laid to rest

NEWS STORY
30/05/2019

F1 paid its respects yesterday, as three-time world champion, Niki Lauda was laid to rest a week after his passing.

On a wet, miserable day, reminiscent of Suzuka 1976, thousands of fans turned out to pay their final respects to the Austrian at St. Stephen's Cathedral in his native Vienna.

As they filed past the coffin, which was adorned with the legend's final race helmet, they were joined by stars from F1, including drivers and team bosses, politicians and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Daniel Bruhl, who played Lauda in the 2014 movie Rush, which told the story of the driver's epic season-long battle with James Hunt in 1976.

After several hours the doors to the cathedral were closed for a private requiem mass, and the 500 guests included many members of the public who had stayed on.

Even Lauda, a man who preferred as little fuss as possible, would have been moved by the many world champions who attended the service, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Nico Rosberg, former teammate Alain Prost, and Lewis Hamilton, with whom the Austrian oversaw successive titles for the team of which he was chairman, Mercedes.

Great friend and fellow Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff was one of the many team bosses in attendance, along with FIA president, Jean Todt and F1 bosses Chase Carey and Ross Brawn.

Leading the mourners was Lauda's widow, Birgit, and their children, Mia and Max, along with sons Mathias and Lukas by his previous marriage to Marlene Knaus.

Among those to give speeches at the end of the ceremony was Schwarzenegger and former F1 star Gerhard Berger, along with President Alexander Van der Bellen and recently ousted Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.

It is believed that Lauda's family turned down the offer of a 'grave on honour' in the city's Central Cemetery, and that the three-time world champion will be laid to rest in Doebling, where his mother is buried.

It would be nice to think that the order of service included Monty Python's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a song which pretty much summed up Lauda's approach to life.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Redphyve, 31/05/2019 9:38

"Does anyone know if his first wife was present?

Marlene Kraus was a huge part of his story, it would be a little sad if she wasn't there."

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2. Posted by Batman, 30/05/2019 19:27

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. That's the way it is!
"

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3. Posted by Ro, 30/05/2019 17:35

"What a sad day, what a wonderful way to say farewell to the great man. Rest in peace Niki. We will all miss you."

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