Get unlimited access for free
You have only 5 articles remaining to view this month.
Mercedes’s Formula 1 non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has returned to the AKH Hospital in Vienna after contracting a flu infection during the Christmas break.
Lauda was on a family holiday in Ibiza when he became ill.
It is understood that the move was made purely as a precaution given his sensitivity to infection following his recent lung operation, and that there is no cause for alarm.
The Austrian, who turns 70 on February 22, underwent a lung transplant in August.
In November he referenced his health in a video message issued to mark the fifth consecutive double F1 world championship success for Mercedes.
“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.”
Last month, Lauda spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport in his first interview since his operation.
He backed Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to emerge as a major threat to Hamilton in 2019 and revealed he received a handwritten note from Vettel while in hospital.
“The letter written by Sebastian, in his own hand, was a great pleasure for me, full of fine words and affectionate considerations,” Lauda said.
“I didn’t expect it, usually drivers don’t do these things, they just drive. But he’s a good person.
“He has had moments of discouragement, we know, but it would be absurd to question him.
“He will recover, a champion will not forget how to drive.
“He’ll come back strong as ever and he’ll still be Hamilton’s rival in 2019.”