Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Niki Lauda is on the “right path” in his recovery from lung surgery, with the Formula 1 legend’s sharp tongue proof of his recovery. Lauda has been hospitalised for the last six weeks after undergoing a lung transplant.
Lauda remains in intensive care and is not expected to return to the paddock in 2018.
The 69-year-old fell ill while on holiday in Ibiza and came within days of dying when he was taken to hospital back in Vienna.
His brother recently revealed that the ‘old Niki’ was returning and Wolff’s recollection of a recent visit to the Silver Arrows’ non-executive chairman suggests that he is getting back to his best form.
“I was very worried to see him after his gigantic operation,” Wolff said.
“I went in and the first thing he did was smile. I thought I should continue where we left off and I said ‘You’ve looked better’.
“He mouthed ‘asshole’ to me and I knew then that Niki is on the right path!”
Lauda had been laid up in hospital for a while after contracting a lung problem. As a result, he needed to have a transplant.
While he will eventually be able to resume a ‘normal life’, he will have travel restrictions imposed. He was advised to travel only to “neighbouring countries” so that he can return quickly to the hospital in Vienna if need be.
With regard to Mercedes, the team and Lewis Hamilton could be on the cusp of winning the 2018 championships. With 6 races left, Hamilton has a 40 point lead over rival, Sebastian Vettel. In other words, there are still 150 points up for grabs this season. But, given Hamilton’s form and Vettel’s recent errors, the momentum is with Mercedes. Can Ferrari turn things around? Or will Mercedes triumph for the 5th time in a row?