Sport Motorsport Formula One great Niki Lauda has undergone a successful lung transplant in Vienna
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Formula One great Niki Lauda has undergone a successful lung transplant in Vienna

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Lauda required two kidney transplants after a near-fatal Formula One crash in 1976. Photo: Getty
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Austrian motor racing great Niki Lauda has undergone a successful lung transplant in Vienna.

Lauda, who was badly burned in a near-fatal Formula One crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976 and later became an airline entrepreneur, was taken ill recently.

The Associated Press reported Lauda underwent two kidney transplants in 1997 and 2005 as a result of the crash.

Austrian media had said he was being treated in hospital, though reports had not mentioned a transplant.

“Because of a severe lung condition Niki Lauda had to undergo a lung transplant in Vienna General Hospital today,” the hospital said in a statement.

“The transplant was carried out successfully.”

Lauda, 69, won three Formula One world championships and his rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the subject of the film Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth.

He recently agreed to sell control of his Laudamotion airline to Ryanair.

Lauda is also a team boss and shareholder of the Mercedes Formula One team.

-AAP