Top Gear included a tribute to racing driver Sabine Schmitz after her death aged 51 following a long battle with cancer.
As well as her success on the track, she was known for appearances on the BBC show since 2004.
Before the programme began at 8pm on Sunday, the continuity announcer revealed that the following episode – which looked at some of the greatest-ever cars to be featured in James Bond movies – would be dedicated to Sabine.
The announcer said: ‘Top Gear’s presenters and production team would like to dedicate this episode to their colleague Sabine Schmitz, who died during the week after this programme was recorded.’
At the end of the instalment a picture of Sabine was shown with the message: ‘In memory of Sabine Schmitz 1969 – 2021.’
Top Gear’s latest episode included a tribute to racing driver Sabine Schmitz (Picture: PA)
The Twitter account for the Nürburgring, the famous German racing track, broke the news of her death on March 17, saying: ‘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!’
Sabine, known as Queen of the Nürburgring, previously announced she had been living with cancer since 2017, having pulled out of the Nurburgring Endurance Series race.
Paddy, who has fronted Top Gear since 2018, paid tribute to his co-star on social media, saying: ‘I spent a glorious couple of days in a Ferrari with Sabine and she hunted me down in a banger race. What a woman, what a legacy, what a life. Very sad news. RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.’
His co-host Chris said in tribute: ‘Rest in peace you wonderful, powerful, hilarious person.’
Ex Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who now fronts The Grand Tour, shared his own tribute: ‘Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.’
His co-star James May wrote: ‘I never thought car makers should be at the ‘Ring, but I always thought Sabine Schmitz should, and would, be. Rotten news. #RIP.’
Richard Hammond went on to say: ‘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.’
Clare Pizey, Top Gear’s Executive Producer, previously explained how they would remember her.
‘She told Metro.co.uk: ‘The “Queen of the Nurburgring”, Sabine radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things got – and was a force of nature for women drivers in the motoring world. Like everyone else who knew her, we will truly miss her – Sabine really was one of a kind.’
Clare added: ‘Our thoughts are with her partner Klaus who was always by her side and who we welcomed to Dunsfold many times, and her family in Germany.’
Top Gear airs Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.