May 28 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says he will not be attending F1 legend Niki Lauda’s funeral on Wednesday.
Having died late last Monday, 70-year-old Lauda will be buried in his racing suit after a funeral at a gothic Vienna cathedral.
Toto Wolff is expected to make a speech, and Lewis Hamilton answered “of course” when asked if he will also be there.
But Ecclestone, the former F1 supremo and lifelong friend of Lauda’s, is not making an exception to his usual policy of sitting funerals out.
“I do not want to see Niki dead. He lives on for me,” the 88-year-old told Bild newspaper.
Ecclestone’s absence is not because the pair were not friends. Lauda once drove for his Brabham team, and the great Austrian’s cap – to hide his facial burns – got its iconic colour as they worked together at the red-liveried team in 1978.
Ecclestone told Bild this week: “Fabiana and I visited Niki at the clinic in Switzerland at the end of April. We could see how weak he was.
“We knew he would not go back to normal life.”
Ecclestone recalls how he also saw Lauda months earlier for Christmas holidays in Ibiza, when the lung transplant seemed to have been a success.
“Things seemed to be going well, but Niki suddenly got worse and worse,” he said.
“As sad as we all are, I think it was good for him in the end that he did not need to suffer any more than he did.”
Grand Prix Tours has once again orchestrated the perfect race weekend for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. Located just outside of the Belgian city of Spa is the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps home to the Belgian Grand Prix. Known as one of the most popular races on the Formula 1 calendar because of its scenic setting, racing heritage and famously challenging turns this race is a favorite of drivers and fans alike. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Belgian Grand Prix.
Join Grand Prix Tours as we head to beautiful northern Italy and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. With a racing lineage that dates back more than 95 years, unpredictable weather patterns and the ravenous Ferrari fans makes this race and post-race celebration a spectacle like no other in professional motorsports. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Italian Grand Prix.
Join Grand Prix Tours as we head to Singapore and the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the only true night race on the Formula 1 calendar. One of only 4 street circuits on the F1 calendar the beauty of the modern Formula 1 cars are on full display under the bright lights of the Marina Bay street circuit. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Singapore Grand Prix.
Get ready to bear witness to one of the most difficult tracks drivers will face all season, the Suzuka Circuit. Designed by Honda as a test track in 1962 the circuit is one of only a few tracks in the world to have a figure eight layout. The amazing enthusiasm of the local race fans is on par with that of any other fanatical nation which only adds to the already unique experience the Japanese Grand Prix provides. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Singapore Grand Prix.