Three-time Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion Niki Lauda has been discharged from a Vienna hospital two months after undergoing a lung transplant. The Austrian fell ill while vacationing in Ibiza and was said to be in critical condition upon arrival at the AKH medical facility in early August.
The Vienna General Hospital issued a statement announcing Lauda's release, explaining that he had completed the initial steps of the difficult recovery process following the procedure. He must now take part in several weeks of rehab to fully recoup.
Mercedes-AMG F1, the team for which Lauda is currently a non-executive chairman, posted to social media celebrating Lauda's release on Wednesday:
Lauda has been absent from the Mercedes F1 pit wall since the German Grand Prix which took place shortly after he was originally hospitalized. It's unclear if he will return in 2018 with only three Grands Prix left this season, taking place in Mexico, Brazil, and Abu Dhabi, respectively.
The former driver has had several bouts with his health in the past, most notably during a near-fatal crash he suffered at the 1976 German Grand Prix. There, he was severely burned and had issues with his lungs due to smoke inhalation from the fiery accident. He then had kidney transplants in 1997 and 2005 before his current fight with a "severe lung disease" at 69-years-old.