Former Formula One driver and serving Senator Carlos Alberto 'Lole' Reutemann has been hospitalised in Rosario with an intestinal haemorrhage, medical sources said.
The 79-year-old was transferred via air ambulance on Saturday from the clinic in Santa Fe City where he had been since Wednesday after his condition deteriorated, said Sebastián del Pazo.
The doctor said that "the haemorrhage produced a worsening of the [senator's] biochemical parameters" and required urgent treatment.
The institution where Reutemann is now being treated, the Sanatorio Parque in Rosario, is one of the region's most respected healthcare institutions. A more advanced hospital, doctors considered that moving the patient was necessary, despite him having to make a trip of more than 200 kilometres via helicopter beforehand.
Reutemann was the most successful Argentine driver after Juan Manuel Fangio. He raced for Brabham, Ferrari, Lotus and Williams, collecting 12 victories and 45 podium finishes.
In 1981, driving a Williams, he finished second in the world championship, one point behind Brazilian Nelson Piquet. He finished third in 1975, 1978 and 1980.
Introduced into politics by late Peronist president Carlos Menem (1989-1999), Reutemann served two terms as governor of the province of Santa Fe, an agricultural region in the Argentine pampas, and was elected to the national Senate in 2003 and is now serving his fourth term. In 2015, he ran under the Cambiemos banner of former president Mauricio Macri.
Reutemann is also an important agricultural producer in the Santa Fe region, which is at the heart of Argentina's food industry.