A couple of weeks ago, Niki Lauda was admitted to the intensive care unit of the AKH hospital in Vienna after contracting a case of the flu during the Christmas holidays. The move was said to merely be a precautionary one, given that Lauda is still recovering from an emergency lung transplant which left him susceptible to potential complications.
Thankfully, Lauda is now OK, with the hospital confirming to Austrian news agency APA that he was discharged on Wednesday. Surgeon Walter Klepetko, head of the hospital’s thoracic department and the man who performed the transplant last year, added that at no point was Lauda’s condition life-threatening and he was able to breathe unaided for the duration of his stay.
It’s excellent news for a man who’s been much missed from the paddock and out TV screens since he was taken ill last year. Lauda’s original plan was to return to his trackside role as Mercedes’ non-executive chairman at the Australian GP, though it remains to be seen if this setback alters those plans in any way.