Niki Lauda recovering well after lung transplant

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VIENNA — The Vienna hospital where Niki Lauda underwent a lung transplant last week says the three-time Formula 1 champion is breathing without assistance and his condition is improving.

The 69-year-old Austrian received a new lung on August 2 after what the Vienna General Hospital has called a “serious lung illness.”

The hospital says Lauda was fully conscious 24 hours after the operation and is making “very satisfactory” progress and “all organs are functioning well.”

Lauda is a three-time Formula 1 world champion, having won 1975 and 1977 titles with Ferrari, and the 1984 title with McLaren. He also famously came back from serious and life-threatening burns in a crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976, and has twice undergone kidney transplants.

Lauda was appointed as the Mercedes team’s non-executive chairman in 2012, a role he continues to hold, and was involved in signing four-time world champion and current F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton.