Mercedes has shared first video of the recovering former F1 champion Niki Lauda ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP race.
Lauda is rehabilitating from a lung transplant he had few months back after falling ill while holidaying in Ibiza. He spent few months in the hospital in Austria where the complex surgery was performed by a team of doctors.
After few hiccups – which was expected – the surgery was successful with Lauda under observation for few weeks before he was released to recover in his home. The Austrian wanted to attend the Abu Dhabi GP but it seems like he won’t make it.
Mercedes shared a video where Lauda thanked all the fans for the messages and congratulated the German outfit for winning the title for the fifth time in 2018 and also to Lewis Hamilton for taking his fifth drivers’ championship.
“As you all know I had a rough time from my health point of view and the support I got from all you people on my way was unbelievable,” he said. “And I was out of bed quicker because I felt to be home in a big strong family of friends.
“Therefore the achievement of this year – outstanding – five championships in a row, Lewis again, Bottas right there, we could not have done a better job. And now the important message is that I will be there soon and off we go, off we go – the pressure comes for the sixth time. Thank you very much.”
It remains to be seen as to when does the non-executive chairman returns to the team’s factory and or the track – but it seems like his first track appearance will only be during the 2019 pre-season test at Barcelona at the end of February.