The great Austrian pilot Niki Lauda had a successful lung transplant operation in Vienna, the hospital that treated him said Thursday.
Lauda, who suffered severe burns in a Formula 1 accident in 1976 and later became an airline entrepreneur, fell ill recently. The Austrian media said he was being treated at the hospital, but reports had not mentioned a transplant.
“Due to a serious lung condition, Niki Lauda had to undergo a lung transplant today (Thursday) at Vienna General Hospital,” the hospital said in a statement. “The transplant was carried out successfully.”
Lauda, 69, won three Formula 1 world championships and his rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the subject of the film “Rush”. Recently, it agreed to sell control of its airline Laudamotion to Ryanair.
Lauda is also head and shareholder of the Mercedes Formula 1 team.