Niki Lauda really is determined to return to the F1 paddock next weekend, according to his friend Dr Helmut Marko.
Lauda, the F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman, recently left hospital after a lung transplant and entered a period of rehabilitation.
He told his friend Bernie Ecclestone that he wants to return to his F1 duties at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, but some believe that is premature.
“At the moment, Niki cannot even manage a step without help,” Red Bull official and former driver Marko told Sonntagsblick newspaper in Brazil.
“But we know him. When he sets a goal, he chases it mercilessly. Just like in 1976 after his accident, his body cried out for rest and patience. But we know what happened,” Marko added.
Indeed, just 40 days after that famous fiery crash, Lauda returned to his F1 cockpit.
“It was one of the biggest comebacks in sports history. And that’s why I trust Niki now,” Marko smiled.
“I have talked to him and he is determined to make his comeback in Abu Dhabi. He has already organised for a doctor to accompany him.”