Niki Lauda: Formula One pays tribute to 'hero' as he dies aged 70

Niki Lauda: Formula One pays tribute to 'hero' as he dies aged 70

Tributes have flooded in for ‘legendary’ Austrian Formula One icon Niki Lauda, who has died aged 70.

Lauda, a three-time world champion, was labelled a ‘legend’ by British racer Jensen Button, after the Austria Press Agency reported his death overnight.

And racing greats past and present posted their messages of condolence on Tuesday.

FIA president Jean Todt tweeted: “Niki Lauda was a hero of motor sport, who inspired me in my youth.

“He is a milestone in the history of @F1.

“All my thoughts go out to his family, friends and @MercedesAMGF1 team. #NikiLauda #F1.”

‘A true great’

Renault also tweeted, calling the courageous F1 icon ‘a true great’.

The French manufacturer’s tweet read: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye today.

“Not many have embodied our sport like you, with such courage and passion. You are an inspiration, a true great, a legend.

“Thank you Niki. Rest in peace.”

‘Nothing short of unbelievable’

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen added: “Shocked by the loss of Niki Lauda.

“He was a true legend in our sport and someone I had great respect for. May he rest in peace #RIPNiki.”

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) tweeted a photograph of himself and Lauda in happier times in the garage with the words: “RIP Niki 🙏🏼 #legend.”

‘A hero to many’