F1 legend Niki Lauda may not be able to return to the Formula 1 circuits any time soon.
Recently, he was placed in intensive care following a lung transplant. The good news is that Lauda’s surgeon said that he should be able to return to “normal life” eventually.
However sources claim that the Mercedes team chairman had a setback over the weekend. The Austrian had to be connected to a dialysis machine due to complications.
Since then, the 69-year old’s health has improved, but it is likely that he will not be able to travel by plane for six months.
He has been advised to holiday only in “neighbouring countries” so that he can return quickly to the hospital in Vienna if need be.
In other words, the Austrian will likely not be present in the Mercedes garage for a number of Grands Prix.
Sources say that “Niki is getting better” and added: “Great relief across [Austria] Niki Lauda is on his way to recovery after his lung transplant. In the days after the surgery that lasted several hours, at the Vienna AKH reported a very satisfactory procedure while revealing that certain complications had arisen.”
On Thursday and Friday, there was a short crisis when Lauda’s kidney had to be supported by a dialysis catheter. Over the weekend, however, the top medical doctors at his side were able to stabilize his condition and completely overcome the problems, his recovery is reportedly progressing well.
Lauda is currently no longer on any devices and is able to breathe independently with his new lung, he did so within 24-hours of the transplant and he can speak.
As is normal after such a severe procedure, Lauda lies in the AKH intensive care unit (ICU) and will probably remain there for some time.
Although, according to doctors, danger to life is over the Formula 1 star and airline boss has now begun the challenging path back to a normal life with his new lungs while all is being done to return the 69-year-old to his old strength.
Nevertheless, Lauda has to undergo a complete life change: his job with Mercedes in Formula 1 and airline Laudamotion hang in the balance.
Air travel is ruled out for at least the next six months and the three times F1 World Champion must spend his holidays in “neighbouring countries” in order to be able to get to the AKH quickly in the event of an emergency.
In addition for him, there is a “life-long ban on public swimming pools, saunas and spas” while “all plants must be removed” from where he is recovering and he must also avoid contact with animals in the future.
The report concludes: “Fighter Niki has already started physiotherapy.”