The loss of Niki Lauda is a massive blow to everyone in the Mercedes camp - primarily, of course, on a personal level. The legendary Austrian was a close friend and colleague, as team boss Toto Wolff has made clear.
But his death also robs Mercedes of someone who played a significant role in shaping the hugely successful team that we know today and, more importantly, in ensuring that level of success has been sustained into what is now six seasons.
Over five decades Lauda gained an unparalleled knowledge of every aspect of Formula 1. As a driver he negotiated with team bosses and sponsors, invariably gaining the upper hand. His later spells as an advisor to Ferrari in the mid-1990s, and as team principal of Jaguar Racing in 2001-02, gave him even more insight. He worked with good and bad bosses, and with good and bad employees, and learned how to do things right.