Lewis Hamilton has dedicated his pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix to Niki Lauda, insisting he would only have one world title were it not for the late Austrian.
Lauda, himself a three-time world champion, died on Monday having served as Mercedes' non-executive chairman from 2012.
He was often credited as influential in persuading Hamilton to join the team when the Briton was contemplating leaving McLaren seven years ago.
And Hamilton, who was excused from media duties on Wednesday in the aftermath of Lauda's death, elaborated on that subject after topping team-mate Valtteri Bottas to claim pole at Monaco with a new lap record of 1:10.116.
The five-time world champion, who has won four of his titles with Mercedes, said: "This one is for Niki. To have a cloud over us this weekend, we have tried to lift each other up and deliver for Niki.
"This is definitely one of the best poles I can remember. We have had a lot of success over the years but I can't remember one that means as much as this one. It has been such a difficult week for the whole team, and personally it's been a difficult weekend.
DAMON HILL AND NIKI LAUDA IN MONACO
Niki Lauda, Ferrari
Austrian Niki Lauda celebrates victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch after winning in his McLaren-Ford. Second place finisher Didier Pironi (l) doesn't look too disappointing with his afternoons work
Niki Lauda approaches Surtees Corner in his Brabham Parmalat Alfa Romeo BT48
Austrian Niki Lauda celebrates victory in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch after winning in his Marlboro McLaren
NIKI LAUDA CHATS TO DRIVER GERHARD BERGER
9-MAR-96 ... Eddie Irvine (right) explains the handling of the Ferrari to Niki Lauda before finishing third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix
16-MAY-96 ... Michael Schumacher talks to Niki Lauda about the disappointing performance of his Ferrari
Nigel Mansell (left) chats to Niki Lauda (right) on the pitlane wall
Niki Lauda chats to Michael Schumacher in the garage during this mornings practice
l-r; Niki Lauda, Jaguar Racing and Bernie Ecclestone
Niki Lauda and Birgit Lauda attend the premier of Rush at Odeon Leicester Square, London.
Mercedes Toto Wolff (left) and Niki Lauda during the practice day at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton with Niki Lauda during the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Prince Michael of Kent with Niki Lauda in the garages during practice day for the 2015 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (centre right) celebrates his victory and winning the 2015 Formula One World Championship alongside teammate Nico Rosberg (centre left), Niki Lauda and the rest of the Mercedes team after the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, USA.
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"The other day, I didn't feel like I was really ready [to talk about Lauda]. Toto [Wolff] felt similar and maybe for Valtteri as well. There wasn't time for us to dig deep into our feelings."
Hamilton added: "Toto and myself had multiple conversations this week. I was in touch with Niki a lot through these past eight months. We were sending videos back and forth to each other.
"It was always difficult as some days he looked good, he was perky and saying, 'I'm coming back, I'm feeling strong' and other days, he had lost a lot of weight.
"It was tough. I'm fortunate I got to see him. When I found out the other day, I was here at home in Monaco, down by the pool where I live, and I remembered getting a call from Niki in 2012.
"We hadn't really spoken, me and Niki. He said, 'You should come to Mercedes'. I sat down with Ross [Brawn] and he explained where the team was going and I believed in the vision but Niki was the one who brought it to me and put it across.
"All these years, he has been my partner in crime, in all my negotiations and in pushing for improvements on the car. He was such a racer. He would ask what needed to be improved. You would tell him and he'd go to the factory and tell them.
"He was part of the process of changing my life. If I hadn't had that call, I'd be a one-time world champion and I sit here a five-time world champion and definitely feel like I owe him a lot.
"We all love him and miss him. I have great memories and he'll live on in all our memories."
Mercedes are running a red halo in honour of Lauda throughout the race weekend, along with a 'Danke Niki' message on the front of the car.
The Prince of Wales talks to 14 year old Lewis Hamilton who is sponsored by Mclaren's driver support programme during his visit to McLaren's Formula One factory in Woking.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) ART
Felipe Massa (right) celebrates claiming Pole position with second placed Lewis Hamilton during qualifying at Magny Cours, Nevers, France.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown talks to Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton at the British Racing Drivers Club Awards, at the Cafe Royal, Piccadilly, London.
(left to right) Nigel Mansell, Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, and Damon Hill at the British Racing Drivers Club Awards, at the Cafe Royal, Piccadilly, London.
Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton is loaded onto a helicopter following his crash during a qualifying session for the European Formula One Grand Prix at Nurburgring, Germany.
David Coulthard (centre) with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button at Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Lewis Hamilton drives Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy round the track in a Mercedes SLR 7722 during the Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium, London.
Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton celebrates after finishing in pole position at Silverstone, Northamptonshire.
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton in the pits during Practice Day for the 2013 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in the garage during third practice at the Catalunya Circuit, Barcelona.
McLaren Mercedes' Jenson Button of Great Britain and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain in the pits during Second Practice Session during Practice for the Formula One Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Northampton.
Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton celebrates his victory with his brother and his father during The Monte Carlo Grand Prix, Monaco.
Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2014, Lewis Hamilton, second placed Rory McIlroy (right) and third placed Jo Pavey (left)during the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Awards at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow.
Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton arriving at the British Fashion Awards 2014, the Colosseum Theatre, London.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton unveil the new Mercedes W06 during pre-season testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez, Spain.
(Left - right) Lewis Hamilton, Rita Ora, Graham Norton, Ewan McGregor and Jack Whitehall during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, south London, to be aired on Friday.
File photo dated 10-07-2016 of Lewis Hamilton celebrates his victory with the crowd after winning the 2016 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
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ALBERT PARK, VIC - MARCH 17: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Lewis Hamilton (44) holds up the second place trophy at The Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 17, 2019, at The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Lewis HAMILTON of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport on the drivers parade before the start of the 2019 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Second-placed Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton attends a press conference after the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17, 2019. (Photo by Asanka Brendon RATNAYAKE / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo credit should read ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE/AFP/Getty Images)
17th March 2019, Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia; Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, race day; Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Valtteri Bottas wins first race of the year followed by his team mate Lewis Hamilton (Photo by Octane/Action Plus via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP, Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari look on at the F1 Drivers Class of 2019 photo before the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes takes a photo with photographers after taking pole position for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia (Photo by Morgan Hancock/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Lewis HAMILTON of Mercedes-AMG-Petronas Formula One Team greets fans at the 2019 F1 Season Launch (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) and team principal Toto Wolff (L) greet fans onstage during an F1 live event to introduce drivers and team principals in Melbourne on March 13, 2019, ahead of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) is pictured in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit at Losail track in Doha on March 9, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton is seen, outside Stella McCartney, during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020, on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton and Oprah Winfrey attend the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Lewis Hamilton and Stella McCartney pose after the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white) Lewis Hamilton arrives at the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
File photo dated 28-10-2018 of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: (L-R) Stefano Tonchi, Carine Roitfeld, Lewis Hamilton and Anna Dello Russo attends the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton and Winnie Harlow attend the 2018 CFDA Awards at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, NY, on June 4, 2018. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)