Monaco - Five times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton hailed Niki Lauda on Tuesday as "a bright light" in his life and said he would not have moved to Mercedes without the late Austrian's involvement.
Lauda, a triple world champion regarded as one of the sport's all-time greats, was non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team when he died on Monday night at the age of 70.
"My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone," Hamilton posted on Instagram ahead of this weekend's showcase Monaco Grand Prix.
"I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together.
"It's truly been an honour working alongside you over these past seven years. I wouldn't have even been in this team if it wasn't for you."