Former Formula One champion and current Mercedes non executive chairman Niki Lauda is back in intensive care after contracting the flu according a statement released by the Vienna General Hospital where the Austrian is being treated.

Lauda underwent a double lung transplant late last year and had been sent home following months in hospital but is back in intensive care as a precaution.

The Austrian is due to return to Formula One with Mercedes with Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff hopeful that he would return in time for the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne which takes place on St Patrick’s Day.

It is unclear whether Lauda’s latest stay in hospital will have an impact on his return to the paddock.

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