After being forced to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix following a positive Covid-19 test, Lewis Hamilton has been given the all clear by the FIA to return for the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
It denies George Russell an opportunity for redemption after he replaced the world champion at Mercedes for the Sakhir race, only to have his shot at a maiden grand prix win cruelly snatched away from him due to a botched pitstop.
With Hamilton returning to Mercedes, Russell will step back into the second Williams car and Jack Aitken is demoted back down to reserve driver duties.
Russell had already gone through pre-race preparation with Mercedes earlier in the week with Hamilton’s situation still unclear.
However, today, The FIA, Formula 1 and Mercedes confirmed that Hamilton had returned several negative Covid-19 tests after undergoing a 10-day quarantine period in Bahrain. The Briton has already landed in Abu Dhabi and will be back with the team in time for FP1.
A statement from Mercedes said: “Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival.
“Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock tomorrow and will be able to take part in the race weekend.”
A five-time winner of the Abu Dhabi race, Hamilton now sets his sights on a incredible 12th grand prix victory of the season to round out his record-breaking year.