The team released a statement saying Hamilton had been tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time on the last Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix. “But he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was told at the same time that a contact before his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “So Lewis did another test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a new test. ”
Hamilton is isolated in accordance with Bahrain health protocols.
“Aside from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and healthy, and the entire team sends him their best wishes for a speedy recovery,” the team statement said.
Hamilton, 35, looked exhausted at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We have a lot of high speed corners so I was really feeling it, ”he said shortly after the GP. “I was sliding a lot there and I didn’t really know how it would turn out in the end. ”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday – on the shortest outdoor circuit in Sakhir – before the end of the 17-race season in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ champion with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas with 201 points and Max Verstappen with 189.
The Mercedes team have announced that they will announce a replacement driver later in the week.