Formula 1 legend niki lauda has unexpectedly had to undergo a lung transplant in vienna. The general hospital in vienna reported on the operation, without giving any information about the health condition of the 69-year-old.
The hospital published the announcement in consultation with the family, said spokeswoman karin fehringer to the deutsche presse-agentur. "We ask for your understanding that the family will not make any public statements and request that the privacy of the lauda family be respected," the statement read. Lauda had a serious lung disease. The company laudamotion would not comment further, as a spokeswoman said.
According to media reports, the three-time formula 1 world champion had already been in hospital for a week. The austrian is said to have interrupted his vacation because of the illness and returned to vienna. The head of the supervisory board of the mercedes team led by british world champion lewis hamilton was also absent from the formula 1 races at hockenheim (july 22). July) and hungary (29. July). "I wish niki lauda and his family much strength in the time to come! You’re a stand-up guy!!!" Tweeted germany’s tennis legend boris becker.
Lauda had been in poor health since his horrific accident at the nurburgring in 1976. He miraculously survived the accident with severe burns. His lungs were partially injured. As a late consequence of the accident, he has already had to undergo two kidney transplants. His brother florian donated a kidney to him in 1997, and his wife birgit donated another in 2005. With her, lauda has eight-year-old twins – max and mia. He has two sons from his first marriage, lukas (39) and mathias (37).
Lauda became a legend because he was already back in the cockpit of his racing car just 42 days after the fire accident. The following world cup duel with brit james hunt was shown in the movie "rush" in cinemas in 2013. In his first race after the accident, he finished fourth in monza. "The quick return was part of my strategy, not to sit at home for a long time and ponder why and how the whole thing happened to me," he later said.
Lauda won the world championship title three times: 1975, 1977 and 1984. After his accident, he makes a red cap his trademark. He wore it in the beginning so that the bandage on his burnt scalp wouldn’t slip when he took off his racing helmet. Later he used it as an advertising medium for his entrepreneurial activities.
Unlike hunt, who died young, the ambitious viennese from an industrial family made a smooth transition to a life as a successful entrepreneur. The enthusiastic pilot founded his own airline with lauda air. The airline was sold to competitor austrian airlines (AUA) in the late 1990s. In 2003, he launched a new fleet under the name "niki.
Niki’s belligerent founder left in 2011 and took over the helm at air berlin. With the company laudamotion, he entered the private jet business at the beginning of 2016. But after the bankruptcies of air berlin and niki, he took the helm at niki again and relaunched the company under the name laudamotion. A little later, he brought ryanair on board as a new shareholder.