Lauda not suffering from pneumonia says physician


It was reported last weekend that Niki Lauda had suffered a setback in his recovery efforts after contracting influenza, but the Austrian's doctor has denied that pneumonia has set in.

The Mercedes non-executive chairman was spending the holidays with his family in Ibiza where he was still in recovery mode after last summer's heavy surgery and lung transplant.

However, the 69-year-old was hit with the flu and was forced to return to the intensive care unit of Vienna's AKH hospital because of the weakness of his immune system.

"Because of the transplant, the situation is more complex than with a healthy person," explained Walter Klepetko, Lauda's specialist physician who added that his patient was "very tired" and suffering "from more than a cold".

Klepetko said Lauda could not be treated in a "normal ward" due to his transplant, but insisted the F1 legend had not contracted pneumonia and was not in need of ventilation.

"Niki was looking after his health and doing everything right," he said. "In his situation, certain risks are inevitable."

According to the Osterreich newspaper, Lauda is still scheduled to leave the hospital in the coming days.

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