Formula 1 organisers and Mercedes-AMG have confirmed that series leader Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19, and will subsequently miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team regrets to announce that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19 and will be unable to take part in this weekend’s Sakhir GP,” a statement from Mercedes-AMG reads.
“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 race weekend testing programme.
“However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has been confirmed by a retest.
“Lewis is now isolating in accordance with Covid-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him our very best wishes for a swift recovery.”
Mercedes-AMG has yet to confirm a replacement driver for Hamilton, stating only that “we will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course.”
Hamilton is one of two drivers slated to miss the event, with Romain Grosjean also sidelined — in his case over injuries sustained during his shocking crash on lap one of last weekend’s Bahrain.
Pietro Fittipaldi has been announced as Grosjean’s replacement, while former McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Guttierez are Mercedes-AMG’s current reserve drivers.