Niki Lauda has suffered a setback in his recovery from a lung transplant operation last year.Formula 1 world champion is back in intensive care at AKH Wien, the Vienna General Hospital where his surgery was performed last year.
Lauda was flown to the hospital from Ibiza after cutting short his Christmas vacation on the Spanish island, according to Austria’s Krone Zeitung. He is understood to have suffered a serious bout of flu.
The Mercedes non-executive chairman did not return to the paddock last year following his operation in August. He was said to be in an “extremely critical” state prior to the operation and spent several weeks in intensive care after it. He was treated by professor doctor Walter Klepetko, chief of the clinical department for thoracic surgery, and his team.
Mercedes shared a message from Lauda on social media in late November last year, thanking the team and his friends. “As you all know I had a rough time from a health point of view,” he said. “The support I got from all you people on my way was unbelievable.” His recovery was expected to be a lengthy process.
Lauda won the world championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari, and in 1984 with McLaren. He suffered injuries to his lungs when he crashed at the Nurburgring in 1976 and inhaled smoke and fumes from his burning car.
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