Formula One legend Niki Lauda undergoes successful lung transplant

Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda underwent a lung transplant at Vienna General Hospital, after picking up an infection in Spain. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2018
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Formula One legend Niki Lauda undergoes successful lung transplant

  • Lauda had cut short his vacation in Ibiza last week and returned to Vienna after developing a lung infection
  • The poisonous gases inhaled during his 1976 accident caused a steady decline in the strength of his lungs

VIENNA: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has undergone a lung transplant following an infection picked up on vacation, Vienna’s general hospital announced Thursday.
“The transplant was successfully carried out,” said a brief statement from the hospital.
Lauda, 69, had cut short his vacation in Ibiza last week and returned to Vienna after developing a lung infection, the Osterreich newspaper reported.
Crowned world champion for the first time in 1975, Lauda cheated death the following year in a horror crash at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring which left him with severe burns.
Despite that, he would still capture further world titles in 1977 and 1984.
The poisonous gases inhaled during his 1976 accident — where rescuers took almost a minute to pull him from his burning car — have caused a steady decline in the strength of his lungs.
Usually a regular presence in the Grand Prix paddocks around the world with Mercedes, Lauda had missed the Hockenheim race on July 22 and the Hungary event last Sunday because of his illness.
Lauda, who also required kidney transplants in 1997 and 2005, is the father of four children from two marriages — Lukas (39), Mathias (37) and eight-year-old twins Max and Mia.
Lauda is still heavily involved in Formula One as non-executive president of world champions Mercedes and also once founded his own airline.


Maurizio Sarri does not fear the sack after Chelsea’s sorry show against Manchester United

Updated 19 February 2019
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Maurizio Sarri does not fear the sack after Chelsea’s sorry show against Manchester United

  • Italian still focused on job at hand with Blues out the FA Cup and falling in the Premier League.
  • Sarri has lost the fans in a short space of time at Stamford Bridge. (AFP)

LONDON: Maurizio Sarri insists he is not worried about being sacked as Chelsea manager despite his troubled side’s lacklustre FA Cup surrender against Manchester United.
Sarri faces a fight to save his job after FA Cup holders Chelsea crashed to a 2-0 fifth round defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Ander Herrera headed United into the lead from Paul Pogba’s cross in the 31st minute.
France star Pogba doubled United’s advantage on the stroke of half-time when he met Marcus Rashford’s cross with a diving header.
Sarri endured chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning” as furious Chelsea fans showed their frustration at the club’s fifth defeat in their last 10 games.
Chelsea’s stars, publicly criticized by their manager on several occasions this term, hardly looked to be battling to keep the Italian as they failed to muster a shot on target after the 11th minute.
Sarri’s fragile relationship with his players, combined with the mutinous atmosphere among supporters, increased the feeling that the former Napoli boss might not survive until the end of his first season with Chelsea.
Demanding Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has acted quickly in the past when managers have been perceived to have lost the support of the squad.
But Sarri is adamant he isn’t concerned about his perilous position and he claimed he is solely focused on salvaging his club’s turbulent season.
Asked if he was worried Abramovich might be ready to wield the axe, Sarri said: “It’s not my problem.
“I was only worried about my position when I was in League 2 in Italy, not now.
“I am worried about the results, not about the fans. Of course I can understand the situation.
“I can understand our fans, because the result wasn’t really good. We are out of the FA Cup.”
Following widespread reports that Sarri’s players are underwhelmed by his stubborn refusal to change his tactics, the 60-year-old did make the alarming admission that he wasn’t certain he still had their backing.
“Of course I’m not sure, but I think so. I think the situation with the players is very good in terms of our relationship but that’s not so important,” he said.
“What’s important is to play and get good results.”
Chelsea supporters called for their club’s former legend Frank Lampard, now in charge at Derby, to be hired and directed foul-mouthed abuse at Sarri.
“Not really very well, but sometimes yes. For everything there is the first time,” he said when quizzed on if he heard the taunts from his own fans.
Sarri believes his situation will be improved significantly if Chelsea can string together a winning run, starting with Thursday’s Europa League last 32 second leg against Malmo and the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday.
“It’s really very easy. If we are able to win three or four matches in a row, it will be easy. Of course it’s difficult to win five matches in a row,” he said with a curious smirk that suggested he didn’t really believe his own outward optimism.
“We need of course more aggression, more determination in the situation inside our box and inside the opposing box.
“My job is to work with my players to try and improve in a few days because we conceded the second goal without determination or aggression.
“The difference was there. We played 78 balls in the opposing box and United only 16 balls our box. We are supposed to win.”
Having previously questioned whether his players understood his football philosophy, Sarri repeated that complaint.
“Not completely at the moment because, especially in a situation like the second half, we have to move the ball faster mentally and materially,” he said.
“We need more movements without the ball and less individual actions.”