Lauda laid to rest in Vienna

Niki Lauda in 1974

Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda has been celebrated in Vienna in a funeral service attended by motorsport and Hollywood luminaries.

Lauda died last week at the age of 70, his family revealed he passed peacefully on May 20.

He was laid to rest wearing a set of his racing overalls, while his famous red helmet adorned the casket during the service at St Stephan’s Cathedral.

Lauda’s casket arrived with a police escort before being carried into the cathedral where his sons Mathias and Lukas placed his helmet atop it.

Lauda’s death triggered an out-pouring of emotion from the F1 paddock last week, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both wearing Lauda’s helmet colours during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes also painted the halo on its cars red, the colour of Lauda’s crash helmet, while others like Haas carried messages in his memory.

Actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Daniel Bruhl, who played Lauda in the movie Rush, attended to pay their respects, as did Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

The service also witnessed many from across the motorsport world in attendance.

They included Arturo Merzario, one of the drivers who helped save Lauda’s life in 1976 by pulling him from his crashed Ferrari at the German GP.

It was in that crash that the three-time champ sustained burns to his face and hands, and inhaled toxic smoke.

Among the long list of other F1 personalities were Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mark Webber, Alain Prost, and Nico Rosberg.

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