Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has provided an update on the health of Niki Lauda as the legendary driver continues his recovery from lung transplant surgery last month, saying that his colleague continues to watch every single race with interest, but needs his rest.
Lauda has continually suffered health issues over the past two decades, and received a lung from his brother in 1997. When that failed, he received another from his wife, Birgit Wetzinger.
The Austrian fell ill while on holiday during the Formula One summer break, and according to his doctors was merely days away from death before he received life-saving surgery.
Lauda acts in an advisory role to Mercedes, and judging by the words of Wolff, his influence and presence is missed within the team at the moment.
“Especially from a human point of view. Me especially as a travel companion, sparring partner and friend.
“These are completely banal situations: it was important that we always had dinner in the evening to discuss the day – and only both of us.
“At the moment I have lost a very important contact person or opposite pole. That’s why I wish him back soon.
Wolff reiterated that Lauda’s recovery is the priority for everyone, but that the former world champion is indeed well-enough to keep up to date on all the action.
“His health is the most important thing for now, so he needs rest, but I’m in regular contact with him. He looks at all the races and I try to keep him up to date as much as possible.”
In the meantime, the Mercedes team are preparing for the Singapore Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton comes to the circuit on the back a a win in Monza, a week ago.