Lewis Hamilton was excused from attending Wednesday's FIA drivers' press conference following the death of close friend and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda earlier this week.

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Lauda passed away on Monday night at the age of 70, with Hamilton paying tribute to the Austrian on Tuesday, calling him "a bright light in my life".

Hamilton had been due to appear in Wednesday's press conference alongside Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Robert Kubica, but a request was submitted for him to be excused in light of Lauda's death.

"We asked for Lewis to be excused earlier today following Niki's death," a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed.

"We ask for your understanding in the circumstances that Lewis lost a very close friend in Niki fewer than two days ago."

Hamilton was replaced in the press conference by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The exemption follows the precedence set by the FIA last year when Ferrari's representatives were excused from the press conferences in Hungary following the passing of CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Mercedes has confirmed it will run a tribute to Lauda on its car in Monaco this weekend.

"We will have a tribute on the car, still to be finalised exactly what that will be," a spokesman said.

"Team members will wear black armbands from tomorrow."

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