Lewis Hamilton: Formula 1 champion to miss Sakhir Grand Prix after positive coronavirus test


Lewis Hamilton is self-isolated and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Mercedes driver returned three negative tests last week but started showing mild symptoms on Monday and was told at the same time that a contact before his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

Hamilton returned a positive result in another test, confirmed on a subsequent retest. Mercedes says he’s showing mild symptoms but “otherwise fit and well” and is now self-isolating as directed.

Mercedes says they will announce Hamilton’s temporary replacement “in due course”. Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez are the team’s reserve drivers.

This will be the first Grand Prix Hamilton will miss in his 14-season career, ending a record-breaking streak of 265 straight starts.

He has already completed his seventh world championship, a record, three weeks ago in Turkey. Hamilton is the third F1 driver to contract Covid-19 this season after Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.

Esteban Gutierrez (photo) and Stoffel Vandoorne are reserve drivers at Mercedes

Esteban Gutierrez (photo) and Stoffel Vandoorne are the reserve drivers at Mercedes

In a statement Tuesday, Mercedes said: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team regret to announce that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to participate in the Sakhir GP this weekend.

Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last one taking place on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend test program .

“However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was simultaneously informed that a contact before his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took another test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a new test.

    Hamilton extended his drivers' lead to 131 points with a Bahrain Grand Prix victory last weekend

Hamilton extended his drivers lead to 131 points with a Bahrain Grand Prix victory last weekend

“Lewis is now isolating himself in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and guidelines from Bahrain’s public health authorities. Aside from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and healthy, and the entire team sends him their best wishes for a speedy recovery. ”

F1 claim all Hamilton contacts have been declared and correct procedures followed meaning there is ‘no wider impact’ on second weekend event in Bahrain .

With the 2020 world title already confirmed, Hamilton leads teammate Valtteri Bottas by 131 points in the drivers’ standings after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, a race overshadowed by Romain Grosjean’s terrifying crash.

The Englishman was also on track to equal Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s all-time record of 13 wins in one season, but his absence from Bahrain’s second race puts an end to that prospect for 2020.


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