Hamilton gets pleasant 'shock' from hospitalised Lauda

Lewis Hamilton (File)
Lewis Hamilton (File)

Austin - An upbeat Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday that he had a very happy surprise this week when Niki Lauda phoned him from his hospital bed in Vienna.

The world championship leader, who can clinch his fifth title in Sunday's United States Grand Prix, was delighted to hear from his Mercedes team's non-executive chairman who has been recovering after a lung transplant.

"He called me two days ago," said Hamilton. "I was shocked to hear from him.

"I told him 'you sound younger than ever'. He is determined to come back and he is grateful to the doctors for all their good work and to his wife."

Hamilton added that Lauda told him he expected to be discharged from intensive care soon.

"For sure, I'll be in Vienna to visit him before the end of the season," said Hamilton.

"We miss him here in the team, but we have his spirit with us at the races."

Lauda, who has been a staunch supporter of Hamilton since he left McLaren to join Mercedes, underwent surgery in August.

Hamilton will become only the third driver to win five championships if he can outscore nearest rival Sebastian Vettel by eight points in Sunday's race.

loading... Live
England 160/6 (54.6 ov)
Pakistan 326
loading... Live
England 160/6 (54.6 ov)
Pakistan 326
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
44% - 5709 votes
Cricket
11% - 1412 votes
Football
19% - 2388 votes
Athletics
2% - 291 votes
Boxing
1% - 113 votes
Cycling
2% - 289 votes
Golf
5% - 630 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1014 votes
Tennis
3% - 402 votes
Water sports
1% - 111 votes
American sports
1% - 124 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 365 votes
Vote