As a mood of quiet mourning settled over the Monaco paddock on Wednesday, Lewis Hamilton was said to be too raw even to speak about the passing of Niki Lauda, the man who had first brought him to Mercedes. "We ask for your understanding in the circumstances that Lewis lost a very close friend in Niki fewer than two days ago".
As a driver, Lauda won the Monaco Grand Prix with Ferrari in 1975 and 1976, but he also enjoyed successes with Mercedes from the pit wall after joining the team's management. A minute's silence is likely before the race.
Hamilton is a five-time F1 world champion and now leads the 2019 championship.
Hamilton posted a tribute to Lauda on Instagram, he said: "My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone".
"It meant a lot to me, but also to every single team member", said Bottas.
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One of the stars on the back of its auto will also be painted red - the colour of the the hats the Austrian would frequently wear to hide his scars - in his honour, while team members will wear black armbands. He made a comeback to take his third title with McLaren in 1984.
Verstappen referred to Lauda as "a legend of the sport", while Ricciardo described his "pretty amazing" legacy. "He was very outspoken, a true character, a true racer, passionate for the sport, all things people respected. He's leaving a big gap we won't be able to fill". Lauda's death has had a big impact at Mercedes.
British rookie George Russell, a Mercedes-backed driver who was the team's official reserve until securing a race seat with Williams, recalled how he and Lauda used to watch MotoGP races together. Mercedes will carry several of their own, with "Danke Niki" and the Austrian's signature to be displayed on the nose of its cars. "He was just an wonderful person".
Lauda, a three-time champion, served as Mercedes' non-executive chairman from 2012 but passed away at the age of 70 on Monday. "Really shocking news", said the Finn, echoing a sentiment felt throughout Formula One.
"Niki's life was not cut desperately short as some drivers' lives were".