Recently crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton has been ruled out of Sunday’s second grand prix in Bahrain after a positive test for Covid-19.
Just two days after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, it was announced that the seven-time world champion would take no part in the Sakhir Grand Prix at the same circuit following his positive sample. It will be the first race he has missed since his Formula 1 debut in 2007.
In a statement, Formula 1 said: “In accordance with Covid-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain, he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared.”
Mercedes will still have two cars on the grid for this weekend’s race, with the team expected to announce Hamilton’s replacement later today. But the likely candidate is Stoffel Vandoorne, who had already planned to travel out to Bahrain after testing in Valencia today.
Hamilton will remain in isolation in Bahrain until he produces a negative test. It is hoped he will return in time for the final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the following Sunday.
The team said in a statement: “Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well and the entire team sends him our very best wishes for a swift recovery.”
The team said the Briton had been tested on three occasions during Bahrain Grand Prix week, including on Sunday, and all three results had been negative.
He had mild symptoms on Monday and was informed that a contact prior to his arrival in Bahrain had tested positive for the virus. As a result, he was tested again with a second test to confirm his positive and rule him out of the weekend.
The Briton’s victory on Sunday was his 11th in 15 races this season and currently gives him a 131-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas.
The race, though, was overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Romain Grosjean’s Haas split into two and burst into flames after hitting the barriers. Like Hamilton, Grosjean will miss this weekend’s grand prix nursing burns to his hands.