Five years ago today, Formula 1 and the motorsport family at large mourned the loss of the great Niki Lauda.

The F1 legend, three-time world champion and Mercedes non-executive chairman had passed away peacefully at a private clinic in Switzerland at the age of 70 after losing his battle to fully recover from a lung transplant undergone during the previous summer.

Niki - whose lone red star still adorns the bodywork of Mercedes' cars - is still sorely missed by the Brackley squad and by team boss Toto Wolff in particular, especially during its present challenging times.

"Niki’s missed all those years because Niki always simplified things to really what mattered," Wolff said recently.

"I’m having to think what would he have said, and how would he have positioned [things], and the two of us worked well together in that sense that sometimes oversimplification can lead you straight to the results."

Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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