Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda is making a strong recovery after his emergency lung transplant, his doctors say, noting that the triple world champion no longer needs breathing support.
"Only 24 hours after surgery, Niki Lauda was fully conscious, had his breathing tube removed, and was able to breathe on his own," the General Hospital Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna said in a joint statement.
All his organs are functioning well, they added.
Lauda, who serves as non-executive chairman of the Mercedes Formula One team, went into surgery last Thursday in the wake of a flu-type infection.
The 69-year-old has been suffering from health problems since he suffered severe burns in a racing crash in August 1976.
Lauda won the Formula One championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984, before launching careers as an aviation entrepreneur, motorsport manager and television commentator.
Besides his job at Mercedes, Lauda is the main stakeholder and executive of the Laudamotion airline.