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Podium in Kalocsa

After a seven weeks of summer break the Hungarian slalom championship backs to Kalocsa.

The airport place hosted a race last year as well so the 47 cars again had the opportunity to speed below the sport airplanes on a hot and sunny day.

Not to easy

Sződy brothers are also looking forward to it.

“It was a long break but we are here on the fourth race of the championship. Before was a good and exciting race last time. After we checked it seems to be a complicated one but let’s see during the laps. During the practice race it did not worked well to find the right raceline directions but the race would matter.”

Szabolcs stated first. “As we realised during the practice session this is not an easy track. I missed the practice on the third part of the track. I am not too happy, I suffered during the lap. There is no more room to fail, I have to do it it next time.” – sadly told Szabolcs. He got 80 seconds penalty (lap time 3:02:879 sec)

 

Zsolt followed him but he also did mistake: “I missed the track on the very same place as I did in the practice session. I missed one buoy in the last part. This will be the eliminated lap, definitely. But now I will go and have another look of that part of the track, I have to memorise it.” He got 2 seconds penalty (lap time 1:43:505 sec).

 

Re-plan

 

The brothers had new opportunities in their second lap and forgot the mistakes started with clean cards. They managed to deliver the laps without mistakes. Szabolcs did a security lap while Zsolt managed to bring a faster one. (lap times 1:41:111 and 1:33:860 sec).

After some summer rain and short break the race continued with the third laps. Szabolcs reached a 1:38:777 no lap on a slightly wet surfaces while Zsolt on an already dry one a 1:33:808 sec lap.

The track became optimal in the afternoon, which also reflected by the lap times, of course the drivers routine add it’s part to it.

Szabolcs spoke on the speed of the track: “My mistake was frustrated at the beginning of the day but afterwards all my following three laps were fine. Especially the last one where I expected around 1:37 but reached  1:34.333. The end it was okay. I am relaxed now after these three good laps.”  – said Szabolcs with smile. 

 

Zsolt also reached his best time on his last lap. ” Everything was optimal, however the tyres were a little loud. I really hope I can reach the podium.” (with this 1:31:021 lap time).

Results

 

After a difficult day Zsolt managed to reach the third place, got a nice throphy and many points. Szabolcs reached the fourth place.

 

 

 

Standing (4 of 7 races)

 

S3, 1401 – 1600 ccm

 

  1. Kaposznyák Mihály   Citroen Saxo VTS       40
  2. Ildzsa Dávid               Suzuki Ignis                36
  3. Sződy Zsolt               Opel Tigra                  20 
  4. Taczman Zsolt           Citroen Saxo VTS       18
  5. Sződy Szabolcs         Opel Tigra                 15 
  6. Kovács Viktor            Renault Twingo RS      5
  7. Juhász Ádám             Citroen Saxo VTS         3
  8. Csiszár Alexandra     Opel Corsa                     1
  9. Hajdú Eszter              BMW                          0

 

Daily summary 

 

„There were everything on this day: sunshine, some rain, sadness and happyness. However it started very hard we managed to put together ourselves and deliver a good result. The track was not easy but got used to it and improved a lot. The car worked perfectly, even under wet circumstances. And it was our best race with the third and fourth place. We are extremely happy and looking forward to the next race.” – said the brothers.

The next race will be on the place of the trade exhibition city called Hungexpo. This is a street race basically, but we’ll see the race on 24th of August.

Sportseconds.com

Photos: Track Racing

 

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Hungarian GP: Late charge sees Hamilton beat Verstappen

A late-charging Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he overtook Max Verstappen for the lead of the race with four laps left to run.

Verstappen was out in front for most of the race, having kept his lead off the line and into Turn 1. Hamilton kept the pressure on the Dutchman, but couldn’t pass him in the early stages of the race.

Verstappen was the first of the two to pit, while Hamilton stayed out for another handful of laps, rejoining the circuit a number of seconds behind the Red Bull driver.

However Hamilton soon closed up on Verstappen, but once again couldn’t pass him, despite a close wheel-to-wheel battle through the first sector.

Mercedes opted to pit Hamilton for a second time for the medium tyre, which saw him close up in the final 20 laps to eventually overtake Verstappen for the lead with four laps left to run in the race.

Verstappen then pitted late on after he had lost the lead for a fresh set of soft tyres to secure the fastest lap of the race.

Hamilton and Verstappen were seemingly in a race of their own, as Sebastian Vettel, who secured the final spot on the podium by making a late overtake on teammate Charles Leclerc, was a minute behind.

Valtteri Bottas was put out of contention for the win after he made contact with Leclerc in the opening phase of the race, forcing him into an early pit stop for a new front wing.

The Finn battled back through the field to secure an eighth-place finish, but loses out in the championship battle, with Verstappen now right on his tail for the second spot.

Carlos Sainz produced another strong drive for McLaren, as he crossed the line in fifth place to secure another eight points for the Woking squad.

Pierre Gasly, who started the race from sixth place, dropped back a number of positions at the start, managed to recover to cross the line in that position – albeit a lap down on Hamilton and Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen finished inside the top ten once more for Alfa Romeo, ahead of his compatriot Bottas.

Lando Norris, who was running behind his teammate Sainz early on in the race, had a slow pit stop which saw him drop down the order and eventually cross the line in ninth.

Alexander Albon picked up the final point for Toro Rosso, after being involved in a close tussle with teammate Danil Kvyat on lap 14 of the race – a battle which Kvyat came out on top in.

However, the Russian driver would eventually end up in 15th place, one week on from his podium finish at the German Grand Prix.

Hamilton now holds a 62 point lead in the championship over Bottas, who himself is only seven points in front of Verstappen for second in the championship.

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Young gun Verstappen lays to rest the old pole question

The precocious Red Bull driver is still only 21 and yet the breakthrough at the Hungaroring, in front of a crowd of raucous and orange shirted fans on a cloudy afternoon, felt long overdue.

As Verstappen’s race engineer told him over the radio: “Better late than never”.

Verstappen is the man of the moment, the sport’s on-form driver with two wins in the last three races and 20 successive top five finishes, so it seemed like a distinct anomaly that he had never started on pole.

He has seven wins already and team boss Christian Horner regularly refers to him as a wise head on young shoulders, praising his maturity.

It was not ever thus, with Verstappen a young man in a hurry from the moment he became the youngest to take part in an official practice session — with Toro Rosso three days after his 17th birthday in 2014.

The youngest F1 race driver, also at 17, Verstappen became the youngest winner at 18 but the opportunity to become the youngest pole sitter slipped through his fingers.

Sebastian Vettel, who also started out at Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso and is now at Ferrari and a four-times champion, did that at 21 years and 73 days.

Verstappen, the 100th driver to take a Formula One championship pole position, sometimes got it wrong and sometimes Red Bull were hampered by reliability problems with former partner Renault’s engines.

“For me it never really mattered,” Verstappen, who turns 22 next month, said of the lack of poles. “I knew it was a matter of time. You need a bit of luck sometimes as well.

“Of course, I made mistakes myself to miss a pole position shot. And today we got it, so very happy with that.”

Saturday’s pole was also a first for engine partner Honda since Jenson Button put their factory team on the top slot of the grid in Australia in 2006.

A week ago at Hockenheim, the Japanese manufacturer celebrated the first time since 1988 that two of their teams were on the podium.

Verstappen’s victory in Austria in June was the first for a Honda-powered car since Button in Hungary in 2006.

While Horner hailed Verstappen, saying he was “on fire this afternoon”, he was also careful to praise the manufacturer’s contribution.

“It’s fantastic for him to get his first pole,” said the boss. “It’s all credit to Honda, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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The summer starts at Lacháza

The third round of the Hungarian National Slalom Championship held again at Kiskulacháza,

replacing the cancelled Eger city race. After 5 weeks the drivers returned to the same track but the weather was completely different: this time there was no rain and wet track but hot and sunny weather to bear.

Szabolcs and Zsolt Sződy prepared for the summer weather with parasol and sun cream. “This would be a long and hot race but this time we will drive on a dry surface with good adhesion, which really needs for the bends.” – said the brothers.

Opel Tigra was well prepared for the race and they hope to reach a good result, even a podium can be a possibility this time.

Race

Szabolcs started with number 20 but he did many mistake on his first lap. “I did not manage to memorise the trach enough and I started the first buoy from the wrong side and did the same in case of the last buoys. However, the speed was okay but it is evident that this lap will be eliminated out of 4 due to the 40 sec penalty I got” – was a little angry Szabolcs (current lap time: 2:04:367. The final time 2:44:367).

Next one was Zsolt with number 40. “I felt that the tires were a little bit unstable when I braked but I did it very hard, maybe that was the reason. It was a test lap for me as well (02:03,894), three more chance.” – said Zsolt.

The times of the second laps were: Szabolcs: 2:03:806; Zsolt 2:01:422.

The third laps were hold early afternoon and they seem to be the hottest ones which also reflected on the lap times. Szabolcs reached 2:02:093 while Zsolt further improved to 2:00:683. These were the quickest laps for both of them, the fourth round times were just below these ones.

“After the test round and the mistakes in the first lap I put together the track and the following laps were good for me, I started to enjoy the race and getting more speed. The fourth lap time was nearly the same as the third” – Szabolcs said (2:02:149).

The last lap time for Zsolt was 2:00:987, nearly the same as the previous one without any mistake. “It was the same drived as the third lap but the time was slower a little. Maybe the track was even better in the previous round. Nevertheless the lap was good and I am looking forward to the final results” – said Zsolt after his last lap

Results

Zsolt finished fourth while Szabolcs fifth at the end in S3 series. These are their current positions in the championship as well. This is the order of this category, very tight at the top:

Series S3 (1401 – 1600 ccm)

  1. Kaposznyák Mihály,  Citroen Saxo VTS  29 points
  2. Ildzsa Dávid,  Suzuki Ignis                       28 points
  3. Taczman Zsolt,  Citroen Saxo VTS          18 points
  4. Sződy Zsolt,  Opel Tigra                         14 points
  5. Sződy Szabolcs,  Opel Tigra                   10 points
  6. Kovács Viktor,  Renault Twingo RS           5 points
  7. Juhász Ádám,  Citroen Saxo VTS               3 points
  8. Csiszár Alexandra,  Opel Corsa                 1 points
  9. Hajdú Eszter,  BMW                                   0 points

Summary of the day:

“We are over a hard day. It was difficult sitting in the car because it was extremely hot before and after the laps, luckily during the race we do not feel it, only we concentrated to do a clear lap. We are expected this result but hope for a podium position – it did not happen this time, the gap between the cars was too big. The car was okay, the tires worked well and we were satisfied with the adhesion on such a hot surface. We are also checked the lubricant during the day and it was also good. We reached our limit, we can not be even faster, we are so close to the buoys. The next races will be the favourites at Kalocsa and Nagyatád so we hope to reach a podium again.” – said the brothers.

Now there will be 7 weeks summer break, the next race will be 27th July at Kalocsa.

Photos: Track Racing

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Rainy race on the airport

There is a say in Hungary that every drop of the May rain worths gold – definitelly for the agriculture – but what about cars?

The Hungarian Car Slalom Championship 67 drivers faced a drizzling or havily rainy weather on 4th of May at Kiskulachaza. The situation seems to be equal for all but there were some differences….

Tyres choice

The type of the tyres is really important, said Sződy brothers before the race.

“It seems there will be raining today so we have to face wet conditions. We arrived with our racing tyres but we also bought another rainy set to be sure. This is a test for us because we did not try them in wet surface but we will during the practise lap and we will decide afterwards.”

Racing laps

They decided to keep the racing tyres because they worked well.

Szabolcs started first with number 18.

“In my first lap only slightly rained but the track was really wet. However the car did not slide at all. I have no idea about the possibility of a good lap time but this one is an optimal starting point.” (01:59,421)

Zsolt did his first lap in more heavily conditions.

“I was surprised how good the car was in such conditions. Only it slipped a little but overall everything worked fine. The track is good for us, let’s see what can we reach on wet.” His first lap time was 01:55,705.

Szabolcs missed the correct order of the bouy resulted to get 30mp penalty and ended with 02:20,194. This lap would be the one to be eliminated from the final result.

While Zsolt further progressed and the clock stopped at 01:52,703, with a chance to reach the podium.

Thanks to the weather conditions and the several delay to rescue other cars the organisers decided to reduce the lap number from four to three.

Szabolcs concentrated for a clear last lap.

“Although I did it without mistake when I started the rain falled heavily and the water stopped on the ground. This was not that bad but the visibility conditions bothered me more. Overall it was a good lap, the car worked well but this was the realistic time I managed to do under these circumstances.” Time was 02:01,686.

Zsolt, who started 20 cars later only faced with the water in the track. “There was no raining when I went, but only wet. That why I had a better time a little. If I calculate correctly this lap time (01:52,351) worth the fourth position.And I worked a lot to get it.”

Results

Zsolt finished fourth and Szabolcs finished fifth on the second race of the seven races championship so they just missed the podium. They are currently also on the fourth and fifth place in serie 3 category out of nine drivers.

Daily summary

“We prepared that it would not be an easy day, it rained nearly continuously and the track was wet all day. We got used to it but it was not easy. As for the tyres worked really well we got a small chance to reach podium but it would come next time, now at the end we had to accept this fourth and fifth position. It worth a lot of points for us. We hope the next race will be warm and dry on 8th June at the same place.” – said the guys.

280 km on two wheels

Sportseconds.com:

Please can you give us some words about your last week competition. Or was it a journey rather?

Zsolt:

“Yes, rather. In the last couple of years I have participated in a bike circle tour around lake Balaton. This year after the total circle, which was 206km I put an additional small 75km one on the following day.

I really like this sport and I also use my bike as transporting vehicle. I realised on the slalom race how lucky we were with the weather there, no rain at all!”

Sportseconds.com:

Do you think on racing by bike or that is already left behind?

Zsolt:

“No, I do not think anymore to race against the clock. I prefer to take long tours on asphalt. Beside the beautiful scenery it is good to be on fresh air, I just recommend this to everyone!”

Photos: Track Racing

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The season started in Kakucs

As previous years the motorsport season also started in spring, including the Hungarian Slalom championship.
82 drivers attended on 7th April in Kakucsring on a cloudy and muggy morning to this well-known track. The first race is also part of the CEZ (Middle-East European Slalom championship).
Season Opening
Szabolcs and Zsolt Sződy (Track Racing team) arrived to the depo with their Opel Tigra. “We prepared the car until Saturday night yet but it was ready for the race. The decoration of the car is even more spectacular this year, the rest will be seen on the race. We are really looking forward to this season and happy to get back behind the wheel.” – said the brothers.
The preparation and the morning track visit was still under wet condition but for the practice the sunshine arrived. However the track was still slippery thanks to the low temperature, the lack of grabbing on the track and also to the brand new tyres.
First laps
Zsolt started with 60 racing number but the temperature still was not good enough to change the main circumstances. The car slipped twice. “I did struggle a lot with the adhesion, I hit a buoy as well and at the back side of the track the back of the car also sliding out but I managed to catch it. This was only a testing lap (02:10,522 with 2mp penalty) but three more to go.”
Szabolcs took a more relaxed lap. “The car was also unstable for me but the tyres was hotter so I am satisfied with the time, currently (02:10,800)” – said shortly.
The other laps 
For the second laps the conditions are improved further so the lap times were even better for everyone. Zsolt had 02:05,020 while Szabolcs 02:07,012 was for them.
“Maybe the conditions were the optimist for the third round, we were even faster but furthermore we also enjoyed the driving.” – said Zsolt.
“For me this was the most enjoyable lap for me, I think I did not make any mistake. It is evident that the result will be not enough for the podium but this race the target is not that high.” – summarized Szabolcs.
For the last round Zsolt did a slightly worse than his best one, finished with 02:04,793 but Szabolcs was even faster and the time stop at 02:05,921. The car worked really well.
Results
In the S3 category the Sződy brothers collected valuable points on their first race, finishing fifth and seventh, Szabolcs only missed the sixth place with 0.023. But that is also part of the car racing and surely next time it would be his favour.
Daily Summary
“After so many days and work finally we can sit back behind the steering wheel and race again, This is really missed for us. The car worked well, the mechanisers did an excellent job to prepare the car for the race, great appreciation to them. The adhesion was a problem this time due to the lower temperature conditions but it is sure that it would be okay for the following races and we can reach even more. The car was prepared for the summer season rather as for more races that’s why we selected a medium tyres for this year. We are not disappointed about the result, we know that more interesting races will come. This overal time does not favour for Szabolcs now: 0.023 seconds was needed for the 6th place. But this time but we will focus for the following races.”
The next race will be on 4th May at Kiskulacháza.
Photos: Track Racing
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Demare opens Giro account after Ackermann crash

Arnaud Demare sprinted to his first career victory at the Giro d’Italia after a dramatic crash involving Pascal Ackermann at the finish of stage 10.

Ackermann, holder of the points jersey, was left battered and bruised after he was involved in a significant accident involving multiple riders at the front of the peloton inside the final kilometre, with the German unable to contest the sprint.

As the finish unfolded from there, Demare surged through on the left to beat Elia Viviani, Rudiger Selig and Caleb Ewan for his first win in this year’s race.

Ackermann slowly made his way to the finish line with a group of team-mates as Demare celebrated.

The flat 145-kilometre stage from Ravenna to Modena, which came after a rest day, was the penultimate chance for sprinters prior to the mountain stages.

Groupama – FDJ’s Demare, 27, also has two Tour de France stage victories to his name, making this his third Grand Tour triumph. He has closed the gap to Ackermann in the points standings to just one.

A frustrated Viviani had to settle for second place for the third time in the race.

After the breakaway of Luca Covili and Sho Hatsuyama was caught with 30km to go, shortly after a crash for Enrico Battaglin, the peloton was largely in control aside from a solo attack from Fran Ventoso with 2.5km, which the sprinting teams were able to haul in.

There was no change at the top of the GC standings, with Valerio Conti retaining a lead of one minute and 50 seconds from Primoz Roglic.

DEMARE DELIGHTED TO MAKE BREAKTHROUGH

He had to wait until the 10th stage to taste victory, but it was worth it for Demare.

“We came to the Giro for this,” he said after the win. “I really wanted a stage win and I got it. I avoided the crash because we, as a team, were very well positioned. I’m super happy.”

Conti, meanwhile, was relieved to stay out of the way amid the chaotic crash as he retained the pink jersey.

“I hope nothing bad happened to my team mate Simone Consonni in the crash,” he said. “I have been well protected by my team the whole day. I thank them for giving me one more day in the Maglia Rosa.”

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ) – 3:36:07
2. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick Step) + same time
3. Rudiger Selig (Bora – Hansgrohe) + ”
4. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) + ”
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data) + ”

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS  

General Classification  

1. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) 39:44:39
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) + 1:50
3. Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) + 2:21

Points Classification  

1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 155
2. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 154
3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 109

King of the Mountains   

1. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 32
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 22
3. Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 18

NEXT UP

Wednesday’s stage 11 from Carpi to Novi Ligure is another flat day. The 221km course will likely be the sprinters’ last opportunity for a stage win until the final week of the race, and some of the quicks will be expected to drop out after the finish.

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A world champion with Ferrari and McLaren – Lauda´s Formula One career in numbers

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda died at the age of 70 on Tuesday, leading to numerous figures in Formula One and beyond paying tribute to the Austrian.

Lauda won world titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984 – the latter two successes coming after he returned to the sport following a near-fatal crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Fellow former world champions Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, Oscar-winning director Ron Howard and compatriot Arnold Schwarzenegger all spoke of Lauda as an inspiration in posts on social media.

We take a look at the Opta numbers following Lauda’s passing.

Näytä kuva Twitterissä

171 – Lauda took part in 171 F1 races, winning 25 of those, finishing on the podium on 54 occasions and starting on pole 24 times.

14 – He won at 14 different Grands Prix, claiming three victories apiece in the Netherlands, Great Britain and South Africa.

5 – Just five drivers have claimed more world titles than Lauda did: Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.

11 – There were 11 years and three months between Lauda’s first and last F1 race victories. Only four drivers – Kimi Raikkonen, Schumacher, Prost and Hamilton – had longer such gaps between triumphs.

0.5 – The narrowest ever margin in the final drivers’ standings occurred in 1984 when Lauda pipped Prost by half a point.

1 – Having won the championship with both Ferrari and McLaren, Lauda remains the only man to have achieved the feat with those two teams.

7 – The seven-year gap between Lauda’s titles in 1977 and 1984 remains the longest period between championships in the sport’s history.

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Inspirational athlete and entrepreneur Lauda leaves lasting legacy

Niki Lauda was hailed for his “unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur” after the Formula One legend died at the age of 70.

Lauda’s family announced on Tuesday that the three-time F1 world champion had passed away nine months after undergoing a lung transplant.

Possessing endless amounts of courage is a necessity in motorsport and they did not come any braver than Lauda.

The Austrian great produced one of the most astonishing comebacks in sporting history after he was seriously injured in a fiery crash at the Nurburgring in 1976.

Lauda was rescued from his Ferrari, which was engulfed in flames  after ploughing into a wall at high speed.

Left with severe burns and scorched lungs after inhaling toxic fumes, Lauda’s life hung in the balance as a priest delivered the last rites.

“But I did not want to die. I wanted to go on living.” Lauda recalled

Just six weeks after that horrific smash, he was back in the cockpit at Monza and finished a remarkable fourth, with his unhealed wounds covered by a balaclava that was soaked in blood.

Lauda regained his title the following year and again in 1984, before going on to become a successful aviation entrepreneur – also taking a hands-on approach as a licensed commercial pilot.

He took up management roles in F1 – with Ferrari, Jaguar and most recently with Mercedes – and continued to have a big influence in the sport over four decades after suffering life-changing injuries.

Known for his forthright opinions and a relentless desire to succeed with huge passion and determination, Lauda made a big impact in F1 and beyond long after his driving career came to an end.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula One. He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense.

“Our Mercedes team has also lost a guiding light. As a team-mate over the past six-and-a-half years, Niki was always brutally honest – and utterly loyal. It was a privilege to count him among our team and moving to witness just how much it meant to him to be part of the team’s success.

“Whenever he walked the floor in Brackley and Brixworth, or delivered one of his famous motivational speeches, he brought an energy that nobody else could replicate.

“Niki, you are quite simple irreplaceable, there will never be another like you.” 

Tributes continue to pour in for Lauda, who has left a lasting legacy in his sport.

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Rosberg ´strongly inspired´ by Lauda

Nico Rosberg expressed his gratitude for the influence Niki Lauda had on his career after the three-time Formula One champion died at the age of 70.

Lauda’s family on Tuesday announced that the Austrian great had passed away nine months after he underwent a lung transplant.

Rosberg quit after winning his maiden F1 title in 2016, having benefited from Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda’s expertise and advice.

The German driver paid tribute to the inspirational Lauda – who made an astonishing comeback in 1976 only six weeks after suffering serious injuries in a crash at Nurburgring – on social media.

“Dear Niki. Thank you for everything that you did for me.” he posted on Twitter and Instagram.

“I learned so much from you. Your passion, your fighting spirit, to never give up, your belief that you always meet twice in life, and even your patience with us youngsters.

“Myself and all of your 100 million fans around the world, whom you also so strongly inspired to never give up in the hardest of times, are thinking of you and your family and wish that you rest in peace.”