user icon
user icon

Wolff: Lauda will 'definitely' return in 2019

  • Published on 27 Dec 2018 11:48
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has no doubts over Niki Lauda's return to the team in 2019. Towards the end of the 2018 season, the Brackley squad's non-executive chairman was forced to undergo a lung transplant following a sudden illness.

The transplant is not believed to be connected to the 1976 crash at the Nurburgring, which also almost cost the three-time F1 champion his life. Lauda is currently in recovery, recently revealing that he received a hand-written letter from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

After being absent from the grid in the second half of the season, Wolff is confident that Lauda will be present in the Mercedes garage next season: "I don't doubt he'll come back," Wolff told Austrian news source ORF. That will definitely happen.

Read: Lauda backs Vettel to recover from 2018 loss

"Last season was a real battle, where things went up and down. Then we had to process the shock of Niki. It first looked like an innocent illness, but that changed dramatically within a few hours, and every minute counted to get him to the hospital in Vienna.

"We've been leading this team together for the last five years," Wolff continued. "So I've noticed his absence more than anyone as a sparring partner and as a friend. That's why I'm looking forward to 2019, so we can walk this path together again."

However, Wolff isn't exactly sure when the Austrian will return: "Only the doctors and Niki make announcements about that. We don't want to raise expectations. Preferably I'd like to see him back at the season opener in Australia, but his health has the priority."

Replies (2)

Login to reply
  • Im sure he can and probably will, the question is if he should, at least if he should return to the same routines as he had before leaving? Niki has undergone a pretty significant medical procedure, especially considering his age, and even if he is fine now he shouldnt really strain himself.

    • + 0
    • Dec 27 2018 - 17:40
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    I think its in the blood - I mean - what else is he gonna do? Fingers crossed we see him in Melbourne, or before !!

    • + 0
    • Dec 28 2018 - 12:40

ES Grand Prix of Spain

Local time 

ES Grand Prix of Spain

Local time 

Related news

Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

World Championship standings 2020

Show full world champion standings

Driver profile

  • Team Ferrari
  • Points 1,377
  • Podiums 54
  • Grand Prix 107
  • Country Germany
  • Date of b. Jul 3 1987 (33)
  • Place of b. Heppenheim, Germany
  • Weight 62 kg
  • Length 1.75 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
3 - Jul 5
Austria
10 - Jul 12
Austria
17 - Jul 19
Hungary
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom
14 - Aug 16
Spain
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
11 - Sep 13
Italy
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Germany
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
10 - Jul 12
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
Hungary Hungaroring
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom Silverstone
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom Silverstone
14 - Aug 16
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
11 - Sep 13
Italy Mugello
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
Germany Nurburgring
See full schedule
show sidebar