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Niki Lauda leaves hospital after lung transplant surgery

Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda was taken ill in August before undergoing a lung transplant. Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Formula One legend Niki Lauda has left hospital after undergoing a lung transplant in the summer, his doctors said Wednesday.

The three-time world champion, 69, is described as in a good general condition after the six-hour surgery at the Vienna General Hospital but will require intensive rehabilitation for several weeks, the hospital said in a statement.

Lauda, who was badly burned in a near-fatal Formula One crash in 1976, was taken ill at the beginning of August with a condition described as "extremely critical" at the time of the surgery.

His doctors will hold a further news conference on Thursday.

Lauda formed the Laudamotion airline out of the Austrian unit of failed Air Berlin early this year and later sold 75 percent of it to Ryanair.

He is also a shareholder and team boss of the Mercedes Formula One team.