Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda has undergone a lung transplant surgery after picking up an infection while he was on vacation in Ibiza this week.
The news was confirmed by Vienna General Hospital on Thursday.
“Due to a severe affection of the lungs, Niki Lauda had to undergo a lung transplantation at the AKH Vienna today. The transplantation was done successfully by Walter Klepetko, head of thoracic surgery, and Konrad Hotzenecker.
“We kindly ask for your understanding that the family won’t give any official statements, and we ask to protect the privacy of the Lauda family.”
Lauda captured his first world championship in 1975 but endured a near-death experience the following season with his now-infamous fiery crash in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The incident left him with severe scarring, and the gases inhaled while he was burning alive inside the car weakened his lungs.
The 69-year-old is still actively involved in F1 and is the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team. Additionally, he even owns a stake in the reigning constructor champions.