Niki Lauda making good progress after lung transplant surgery

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff on Friday wished chairman Lauda a safe and speedy recovery and hoped the Austrian would be back at the races before long. He was flown by private jet to the AKH Vienna hospital, where he remains in intensive care while he recovers from the surgery. But I'm sure he will soon be telling every nurse and doctor that he has had enough of hospital.

Dr Walter Klepetko, who is the hospital's head of thoracic surgery, told Austrian broadcaster ORF that "everything is now going very well and we are very satisfied".

The hospital performs around 120 lung transplants a year, and the usual recovery time is between two and three weeks.

"Considering the not very easy circumstances we are very, very happy with the developments", Klepetko said, adding the hospital would release a comprehensive update about Lauda's condition at a later time.

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One aspect of Lauda's situation that Klepetko did clarify was that his fiery accident at the Nurburgring in 1976 had had no bearing on the decision to replace his lungs.

"In the last seven days, Mr Lauda was kept alive only by a pump, a sort of heart-lung machine", Doctor Klepetko told Austria's Oe24. It naturally left a cloud over the forthcoming holiday at Brixworth.

"Our thoughts are rather with Niki, Birgit and the Lauda family".

"The world knows Niki as an F1 legend with incredible power and resilience", he continued. For all of us at Mercedes he is our chairman, our mentor and our friend.

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