F1: Fans, colleagues bid farewell to Niki Lauda at Vienna cathedral

Racing legend Niki Lauda's closed coffin will be put on display in the city's main church for several hours before a requiem mass.
Racing legend Niki Lauda's closed coffin will be put on display in the city's main church for several hours before a requiem mass.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

VIENNA (DPA) - Motorsports fans, Formula 1 figures and politicians are expected to pay their last respects to racing legend Niki Lauda on Wednesday (May 29) at St Stephen's Cathedral in his native Vienna.

The triple Formula 1 champion, aviation entrepreneur and non-executive chairman of the Mercedes Formula 1 team died on May 20 at the age of 70, having failed to recover from an emergency lung transplant. A near-fatal race accident in 1976 had left him with a scarred face and permanent health problems.

Lauda's closed coffin will be put on display in the city's main church for several hours before a requiem mass.

Austrian-born actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Austrian Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger and Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen were invited to deliver eulogies.

Lauda's former McLaren team colleague Alain Prost will read from the Bible during Mass.

After the public memorial service, a family-only burial will take place.

Lauda will be buried wearing his race suit, according to St Stephen's priest Toni Faber.