Academics from across Cranfield University, have today paid tribute to the impact of Niki Lauda on the world of motorsport, aviation and business.

Professor Mark Jenkins, Professor of Business Strategy at Cranfield School of Management, said: "Our thoughts today are with the Lauda, Ferrari, Mercedes and wider Formula 1 family. Niki Lauda was one of motorsport's giants. Very few have made the transition from world champion driver, to successful entrepreneur and a leading executive at Mercedes.

"It was a great privilege to have had the opportunity to sit down with him and get his insights into what makes a great team. His entrepreneurial spirit, his quest for innovation and drive for constant improvement, all delivered in his characteristic, no-nonsense style are lessons that all leaders can learn from.”

Andy Foster, Senior Lecturer in Air Transport, said: “Many will know Niki Lauda for his career in motor racing and the impact he had on the sport. Fewer people, outside the industry, will know of his impact on the aviation sector. His death is a loss for the aviation industry, as well as for the millions of motor racing fans across the world.

“As a pilot and an airline entrepreneur he was involved in the setting up and running of three renowned airlines – Lauda Air, Niki and, more recently, Laudamotion – the latter’s aircraft carry his name today under the ownership of Ryanair. He was also a Bombardier Business Aviation ambassador.”

Clive Temple, Motorsport and Automotive Programme Director, said: “Niki Lauda was one of the real legends of motorsport, especially Formula One. He was a three-time world champion for Ferrari and McLaren, the two top F1 teams at the time. He demonstrated his bravery and determination when he returned to drive in the Italian Grand Prix, just six weeks after his terrible accident at the German GP in 1976. Not only was Niki a survivor, as a result he became an inspiration to others right up until the present day with regards to Billy Monger. Lauda was also inspirational in the business and technical side of the sport, and beyond. He served Ferrari as a consultant, managed Jaguar Racing and has helped guide the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to its dominance of Formula One. A great man who has helped mould champions.”