Formula 1

Niki Lauda on road to recovery following Lung Transplant Surgery

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Niki Lauda - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Non-Executive Chairman
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Doctors who performed a lung transplant on former three time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda said he is making progress in his recovery.

Lauda had the procedure on 2 August at a hospital in Vienna after he fell ill when on a recent holiday in Ibiza.

Walter Klepetko, one of the surgeons who operated on Lauda told Austrian broadcaster ORF that “everything is currently going very well and we are very satisfied.”

Kleptko, who is the hospital’s head of thoracic surgery, said that the recovery time for such a procedure is usually two to three weeks, but said that the time which the sixty-nine year old will need to recover will be longer as a result of his age.

Klepetko also said that the decision to carry out the transplant had no bearing on the injuries he sustained during his crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix.

“One can absolutely assume that lung transplantation is not a late consequence of the fire accident,” he said.

Toto WolffCEO & Team Principal of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport has sent his regards to Lauda by way of the team’s Twitter account.

“Although we should enjoy the start of our summer holidays this evening, none of us at Mercedes will pretend that we feel happy – our thoughts are rather with Niki, Birgit and the Lauda family.  The world knows Niki as an F1 legend with incredible power and resilience,” said Wolff.

From all of us here at Mercedes, he is our chairman, our mentor and our friend.  We have missed him by our side in Hockenheim and Hungary, and can’t wait to have him back with us.  The recovery he faces is not a race.  But I’m sure he will soon be telling every nurse and doctor that he has had enough of hospital.

“We wish him a safe and speedy recovery – in that order – and send all our positive energy to him and his family.  I miss you my friend.”

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