Niki Lauda, Monaco, 2018

Lauda recovering after lung transplant

2018 F1 season

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Three-times Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda underwent a lung transplant operation in Vienna today.

The 69-year-old is recovering following the “successful” procedure according to a statement released by AKH Wien, the Vienna General Hospital.

Lauda won his first world championship in 1975 but lost his crown the following year after missing several races due to the serious injuries in a crash in 1976 German Grand Prix. The accident left him with severe burns which led to scarring, and the inhalation of smoke and fumes caused damaged to his lungs.

After returning to competition Lauda reclaimed his title in 1977. He retired from F1 at the end of 1979 but returned two years later with McLaren, and scored his final championship triumph in 1984. He retired the following year with 25 grand prix victories to his name in addition to his trio of titles.

Lauda went on to assist Ferrari’s F1 team in the earlier nineties and was later team principal at Jaguar during their brief spell in the sport.

In 2012 Lauda became non-executive chairman of Mercedes’ F1 team. He played a significant role in recruiting Lewis Hamilton, who has since won three drivers’ championships for the team and helped them to victory in the last four constructors’ championships.

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2018 F1 season

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Keke Rosberg, Niki Lauda, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
Lauda with former rival Keke Rosberg earlier this year

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “Lauda recovering after lung transplant”

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      2nd August 2018, 23:41

      Loads of respect for Lauda, he’s as tough as they come.

      1. Not surprised, it is a very serious operation I hope he does well.

        He has paid dearly for his racing career, if this a result of the fire

        1. “…Lauda was trapped inside his own burning car for over a minute, damaging his lungs with smoke…”

          “…After a series of operations to replace his eyelids as well as remove smoke and debris from his lungs and face…”

          It is a miracle he didnt have more serious issue earlier… maybe young age, and athletic conditions helped him suppress the conditions as much as recently…

          God help him… prayers…

      2. What is the reliability of these sites?

        Are they tabloid type sites? Or reputable?

        1. Anyone his age that undergoes an operation of that magnitude will be listed as “critical’ or “extremely serious” afterward due to the fact the patient isn’t out of danger for some time afterward.

        2. Well, a lung-transplant is a risky thing, in general, I’d say. Without them in working condition, you clearly need another way to provide oxygen to your body; so while recovering, you only have limited capacity for that; also, he’s taking immuno-suppressants so he won’t lose his new lung, and they have to see how well the body accepts it (ie. how big a dose does he need – the side effects of those aren’t healthy at in general, and they mean infections are a big risk, but of course, better than the alternative). I don’t know for certain, didn’t he also have a kidney transplant? So, they need to worry about his kidney not being inflamed either (could mean losing that – dialysis at best …), and have to be careful what pain and other medication they give him bc. they maybe can’t stress the kindeys too much (so, stuff that’s either taken out of the body via the liver, or at least stuff that doesn’t long term harm the kidney). And he’s a senior, with probably good health given the circumstances, but the circumstances of his accident still are there.

          A lot of reasons to think they are very carefully checking his condition before giving the all safe.

          1. Indeed. My step dad had a double lung transplant. The transplant went well but the drugs used to stop him rejecting the organs caused a heart attack and he sadly died a few days after the operation. Lets hope everything goes well for Nikki Lauder. He is a true legend.

          2. Neil Dockray
            3rd August 2018, 9:47

            My understanding is that he has on two occasions had a kidney transplant.

          3. he had another transplant, but i can’t remember which organ. His then wife was the donor.

        3. I wouldn’t trust Spaniard news… They love to change words and how things happens just to generate controversy… Ive seen maaaany times how a driver say something and how they translate and turn it into something offensive specially if is someone they don’t like… Hamilton-vettel… And whatever their God Alonso do.. they tend to magnify it to make it look even greater…

          There’s article where James Allison talk about Mercedes strength and weakness vs ferrari.. the Spanish site Marca immediately put that Allison said “we are better than ferrari” in an arrogant tone..

    2. Best wishes Niki, get well soon.

    3. If anyone can overcome this, is Niki! Get well soon, Legend!

    4. Well i hope he takes good care of his new lungs. I know his lungs were scarred from the accident.
      Knowing that he will try and keep germs and bacteria away and an increased risk of rejection of his lungs, I’m wouldn’t expect him at a race for the rest of the year. Didn’t he have Kidney transplant too? Twice?
      Lucky guy. Some never even receive any form of transplant and sadly perrish while waiting for one.

      1. The kidney transplant (one of them?) was from his ex-wife; The waiting list for other organs is a lot shorter (at least in Austria https://www.statista.com/statistics/538235/number-of-patients-ever-active-on-organ-transplant-waiting-list-in-austria/), and he was probably on that list for a while already (UK2017: 261 died waiting for Kidney; 64 lung, factor 4 lower).

    5. Good luck Niki.. He is paying the price of 1976. He is So Strong mentally,and I’m Sure he will recover. Respect to him,and mine and many other people’s thoughts will be with him and his family.. My name is Steady and I’ve been a fan for 45 years.

    6. #GetWellSoon

    7. They claimed he was recovering from bacteria infection and suddenly went serious and get immediate lung transplant. https://www.formulapassion.it/motorsport/formula-1/lauda-trapianto-di-polmone-e-molto-grave-395052.html
      Keep fighting Niki!

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        3rd August 2018, 8:03

        That article says he was in Ibiza when he fell ill. Maybe he was paying a visit to Nico.

      2. Yeah, with his need for immuno-suppressants, infections can become big issues; if they get to the heart, that’s life threatening; he could lose his kidney (also transplant), that’s dialysis/life threatening; lung – that too;influenza can harm your lungs, and since his were already damaged after the accident, I can easily imagine that it’s quickly become a serious risk. Hope he recovers, and we’ll be able to see him at the races in the nearish future again (but not for a few months, I’d guess).

    8. I hop Niki makes a speedy and full recovery.

      He’s a very brave and much admired man.

    9. He’s tough as nails, he’ll pull it off :)

    10. Praying for Niki Lauda.

    11. Lets keep this Legend much longer among us please !

    12. Hope for a quick recovery. Get well soon Nikki !

    13. A lung transplant!? Wow that’s incredible that they can even do that. Anyone else and I’d be extremely worried but this is Lauda – he’ll be fine.

    14. Get well soon champ! We’re all pulling for you

    Comments are closed.