Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz has died after a battle with cancer.
Known as the ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’ racetrack, Schmitz became a regular host after the programme’s revamp in May 2016 following Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s exit.
In July 2020, Schmitz revealed on Facebook that she had been suffering from an “extremely persistent cancer” and had suffered a relapse since the pandemic began.
Since the news of her passing, her Top Gear co-stars and racing and motorsport brands have posted tributes on social media to honour the two-time ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen winner.
Co-host Paddy McGuinness said: “She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.”
She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz. pic.twitter.com/awtbOnMD90— Paddy McGuinness 💙 (@PaddyMcGuinness) March 17, 2021
Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson also remembered Schmitz on Twitter, posting: “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”
Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 17, 2021
James May added his own tribute, tweeting: “I never thought car makers should be at the ‘Ring, but I always thought Sabine Schmitz should, and would, be. Rotten news. #RIP”.
I never thought car makers should be at the ‘Ring, but I always thought Sabine Schmitz should, and would, be. Rotten news. #RIP— James May (@MrJamesMay) March 17, 2021
The pair’s The Grand Tour c0-host called Schmitz “a proper driving legend”.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Sabine Schmitz,” Richard Hammond said on Twitter. “The ring has lost its Queen. RIP.”
Very sad to hear of the passing of Sabine Schmitz, a proper driving legend who’ll be sadly missed by many. The Ring has lost its Queen. RIP— Richard Hammond (@RichardHammond) March 17, 2021
The current and former Top Gear hosts were joined by racing pros, who also paid tribute to Schmitz and celebrated her contributions to motorsport.
Professional racing driver Tom Coronel thanked Schmitz for the fun “on and off the track”, adding that the world had lost a “super fast woman”.
R.I.P. Sabine, 👸🏼 the Queen of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.— Tom Coronel (@TomCoronel) March 17, 2021
The world has lost a super fast woman… it was an honor to race with you. ✨🙏 Thanks for the fun on and off track, Sabine.
Race in Peace #SabineSchmitz #nurburgring #nordschleife pic.twitter.com/hJddiiagHV
The Nürburgring honoured Schmitz too, stating: “The Nürburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver. Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!”
Schmitz was meant to participate in the NSL, but was unable to due to her illness.
Porsche Motorsport posted: “#NLS – Very sad to hear that Sabine Schmitz (1969-2021) has passed away. The “Queen of Nordschleife” was a crowd favourite due to her open, humorous way. The two-time @24hNBR winner was an icon at the wheel of the #Frikadelli #Porsche. Our sympathy goes to her family and friends”
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