Former three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda is recovering following a successful lung transplant operation at a hospital in Vienna.
The often outspoken Lauda was reportedly on holiday in Ibiza when he fell ill with a ‘severe cough’, and was flown to Vienna for treatment.
The sixty-nine year old, who is the Non-Executive chairman of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, suffered lung damage in his infamous crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix, which was held at the legendary Nordschleife circuit. Remarkably, the Austrian was able to make a return to the sport only three races later despite suffering extreme burns and almost succumbing to his injuries.
A statement was released by the Vienna General Hospital, where Lauda is being treated.
“Due to a severe affection of the lungs, Niki Lauda had to undergo a lung transplantation at the AKH Vienna today. The transplantation was done successfully by Walter Klepetko, head of thoracic surgery, and Konrad Hotzenecker.
“We kindly ask for your understanding that the won’t give any official statements and we ask to protect the privacy of the Lauda family.”
The Checkered Flag would like to wish Lauda a speedy recovery.