Niki Lauda undergoes lung transplant as Formula 1 legend suffers from ‘severe lung disease’

FORMULA ONE legend Niki Lauda is recovering from a lung transplant.

The Mercedes non-executive chairman, 69, had the procedure in Vienna after being admitted with flu-like symptoms.

 Niki Lauda has had a lung transplant after being admitted to Vienna General Hospital

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Niki Lauda has had a lung transplant after being admitted to Vienna General Hospital

And Vienna General Hospital said the Austrian had been suffering from "severe lung disease".

The hospital added that the transplant was "successfully performed".

Lauda won three world titles as a Formula One driver in 1975, 1977 and 1984 with Mercedes and Ferrari.

The F1 titan was severely burned in a near-fatal crash in 1976 and incredibly came back to the sport, winning his second world championship a year later.

 Lauda, centre, was instrumental in Mercedes hiring Lewis Hamilton, left, in 2013

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Lauda, centre, was instrumental in Mercedes hiring Lewis Hamilton, left, in 2013
 Lauda, left, was severely injured from a fireball crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 and his rivalry with Britain's James Hunt became the stuff of legend

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Lauda, left, was severely injured from a fireball crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 and his rivalry with Britain's James Hunt became the stuff of legend

The comeback became the stuff of legend and his battle with Britain's James Hunt was the subject of the hit movie 'Rush.'

He was appointed as Mercedes' non-executive chairman in 2012 and was involved in the signing of Lewis Hamilton to the team.

He is also an airline entrepreneur and recently agreed to sell his controlling stake in Laudamotion to Ryanair.

According to reports in Austria, he initially became ill while on holiday in Ibiza and flew back to Vienna.

 Lauda has been a key part of Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes, where the Brit has won three world titles

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Lauda has been a key part of Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes, where the Brit has won three world titles
 Lauda's life-threatening crash in 1976 prompted one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history

PA:Press Association
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Lauda's life-threatening crash in 1976 prompted one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history
 Movie fans will recognise the Lauda and Hunt story from the hit 2013 film 'Rush'

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Movie fans will recognise the Lauda and Hunt story from the hit 2013 film 'Rush'

Lewis Hamilton increases lead over Sebastian Vettel after victory at Hungarian Grand Prix

His condition became worse, which is when doctors decided to operate.

As a result of Lauda's fireball injuries contracted 42 years ago, he has had two kidney transplants.

His brother Florian donated an organ in 1997 and his wife Brigit did the same in 2005.

FORMULA ONE legend Niki Lauda is recovering from a lung transplant.