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Niki Lauda is home at last - Dr Helmut Marko

2018-12-19 10:20

Image: AFP / Erwin Scheriau

Niki Lauda has now returned home after a long period in hospital and rehabilitation.

That is the news from Dr Helmut Marko, who is Formula 1 legend Lauda's Austrian countryman and friend.

Recovery going 'very well'

69-year-old Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, underwent a lung transplant in early August and missed the rest of the 2018 season.

READ: 'F1 'not the same' without Niki Lauda' - Marko

But Red Bull official Marko says Lauda's recovery is going "very well".

"After five months, Niki has finally left the hospital and rehabilitation clinic and is back home," he told Servus TV.

"All his organs are working, now it's time to regain his strength. I am optimistic we will see him back in Australia next March," he added.

As for Red Bull, Marko said Red Bull's preparations to switch to Honda power are on track.

A different approach

"So far, all their promises on the technical side have been kept," he told the Austrian broadcaster.

"If this continues, we will then have a great chance to compete for the title in the coming season."

Marko said he is not worried the Red Bull-Honda collaboration will end as badly as McLaren's did.

"We have a different approach than McLaren," he explained.

"It is the first time in 14 years that we have factory status. We said to Honda 'Bring us the strongest engine you can build. Whatever you bring, we'll put it in the car'.

"At McLaren, the approach was different," said Marko.

"We are prepared for Honda having a different culture, but they have the potential and the financial resources to succeed in F1. We will see how things go."

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