Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has wished the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda for his speedy recovery after his lung transplant.
The three-time Formula 1 champion underwent a lung transplant in the Vienna General Hospital on Thursday, performed by Walter Klepetko, Head of the Clinical Department of Thoracic Surgery, and Konrad Hotzenecker.
The surgery was a success as the hospital release asked for privacy for not only Lauda but also his family during the time of his recovery. His family also chose not to release any statement for the 69-year-old.
Mercedes though has released a special message from Wolff for Lauda as the team breaks for the summer break after an intense first half: “Although we should enjoy the start of our summer holidays this evening, none of us at Mercedes will pretend that we feel happy – our thoughts are rather with Niki, Birgit and the Lauda family.
“The world knows Niki as an F1 legend with incredible power and resilience. For all of us at Mercedes he is our chairman, our mentor and our friend. We have missed him by our side in Hockenheim and Hungary, and can’t wait to have him back with us.
“The recovery he faces is not a race. But I’m sure he will soon be telling every nurse and doctor that he has had enough of hospital. We wish him a safe and speedy recovery – in that order – and send all our positive energy to him and his family. I miss you my friend.”
Lauda joined Mercedes in 2012 as a non-executive chairman and shareholder. He has since been part of the family which has won four championships – both constructors’ and also the drivers’ (three with Lewis Hamilton and one with Nico Rosberg) between 2014 and 2017.