Seven-time Formula One world champion Luis Hamilton will miss the Sahir Grand Prix this weekend after passing positive results for COVID-19.
Hamilton passed a positive test on Monday, the day after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, in a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for the upcoming Sahir Grand Prix of the same circuit this weekend.
Hamilton tested negative three times in the previous week, including the Sunday afternoon before the Bahrain Grand Prix, but woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and subsequently gave positive results. He was informed on Monday that contact before his arrival in Bahrain had also been positive.
The 35-year-old has already secured this year̵
It is not yet clear who will replace Hamilton in the Mercedes, which has won 11 of its 15 races this year.
Stoffel Vandoorne has been named as the team’s official reserve driver and is currently testing for Mercedes’ Formula E team in Valencia. He last competed in F1 for McLaren in 2018 and will travel to Bahrain later this week to join the Mercedes F1 team.
Hamilton is currently being isolated in accordance with the guidelines of the public health authorities in Bahrain and his contacts have been declared to the FIA.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team regrets to announce that Luis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to compete in Sahir’s GP this weekend,” a Mercedes statement said.
“Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard racing weekend testing program.
“However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that contact before arriving in Bahrain was subsequently positive.
“That’s why Lewis did an additional test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a second test.
“Luis is now isolated in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols and the guidelines of the public health authorities in Bahrain. In addition to mild symptoms, he is otherwise able and well and the whole team sends him his best wishes for a speedy recovery.
“We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in time.”
Hamilton will be the third driver this year to miss a race due to a positive COVID-19 test in a season that has been completely rescheduled due to the pandemic.
Sergio Perez came out of the British and 70th anniversary Grand Prix in Silverstone earlier this year, and his Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll missed the Eifel Grand Prix after feeling unwell and later tested positive for COVID-19. . In these cases, Nico Hulkenberg replaced both Racing Point drivers.
Hamilton secured this year’s championship in mid-November at the Turkish Grand Prix, leaving three races on the calendar. Mercedes dominates this year’s championship, taking 13 of the 15 victories in the race, 14 pole positions and world championships for both drivers and constructors.