CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES
Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda (R) , pictured at the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix, is back in hospital after a lung transplant last year.
Former world Formula One motor racing champion Niki Lauda is back in hospital five months after a life saving lung transplant.
The Austrian was admitted to hospital in his native Vienna after suffering from influenza, the BBC reported on Sunday (Monday NZ time).
Lauda, the world Formula One champion in 1975, 1977 and 1984, had a lung transplant last August.
His doctors said after the operation that he would have had three to seven days to live without the surgery due to severe lung disease.
* Fresh hope for Schumacher
* Schumacher’s 50th birthday comes amid celebrations and privacy
* Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn backs privacy over Michael Schumacher’s health
In an unsourced report, the Austrian news outlet Oesterreich stated Lauda, 69, had been admitted to intensive care in Vienna, but was expected to be released later this week.
Lauda is no stranger to adversity.
He survived a fiery crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix, suffering severe burns to his face, hands and lungs.
Lauda was back racing at the Italian Grand Prix six weeks later and went on to win his second F1 title the following season.
He raced until 1985 and later moved into Formula One team managenet.
In 1997, he had the first of two kidney transplants.
Lauda has been Mercedes’ non-executive chairman since 2012.