Michael Schumacher’s touching tribute to F1 icon Niki Lauda - ‘One day we will meet again’

Michael Schumacher’s touching tribute to F1 icon Niki Lauda - ‘One day we will meet again’

The triple world champion died in Zurich last week, where he was undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney problems. Lauda is best remembered for a remarkable sporting comeback in 1976, returning to championship contention just weeks after a horrifying crash that left him with severe burns. His death was met with an outpouring of grief for one of the best-known figures in motor racing.

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After winning the Monaco Grand Prix last Sunday, Lewis Hamilton who was close to Lauda as he was non-executive chairman of his team Mercedes, paid tribute to the late motor racing legend.

He wrote on Twitter: “That was for you, Niki. Your fighting spirit was right there with me every step of the way.

“I know you are looking down and taking your hat off to us. I miss you, we truly miss you and I hope we did you proud today, legend.”

Hundreds of mourners, including Formula 1 legends Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard, attended a special mass at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna on Wednesday.

Lauda’s wife Birgit placed a racing helmet on his coffin, while Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger led the tributes.

But Michael Schumacher, despite not being able to make the service in the Austrian capital, still sent a touching message to Lauda.

“One day we will meet again. Love, the Schumachers,” was written on the funeral wreath the German motor racing legend sent to Vienna, according to the Swiss newspaper Blick.

Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013, is understood to have shared a special relationship with Lauda.

The Austrian, who was an advisor at Ferrari between 1993 and 2001, urged Schumacher to switch to the famous red motor racing team in 1996 from rivals Benetton, where he had already become a double world champion.

Schumacher then went onto dominate Formula 1, writing his name into motor racing history by winning five successive world titles between 2000 and 2004.

After winning the Italian Grand Prix in 2006, Ferrari announced Schumacher would retire from racing at the end of that season, but would continue working for the team as an advisor.

Following the announcement, Lauda was among many in the sport to hail the German as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of Formula 1.

Schumacher got back into the cockpit at the beginning of the 2010 season, driving for Mercedes, with his return to Formula 1 compared to Lauda’s in 1982 at the age of 33.

The German driver has not been seen in public since his suffering a traumatic head injury in December 2013, after falling and hitting his head on a rock whilst skiing in the Alps.

He was rushed to hospital put in a medically reduced coma until June 14, 2014 - and is said to have been ‘lucky to survive’ the tragic fall.

But the millions of his fans have been left frustrated by a lack of updates provided on his health since then.

However, in early January the stricken F1 legend’s family issued a rare update on his health.

In the statement his family said: “You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him.

“Please understand we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as his health in privacy.

“At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy 2019.”

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