“The FIA, Formula One and Mercedes Team can today confirm that during mandatory pre-race PRC testing for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19“. In accordance with Covid-19 protocols, and public health authorities in Bahrein, he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared. The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula One will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event”.
The team from Brackley also reported that Lewis Hamilton’s health had experienced a slight change during Monday morning:
“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 his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive“.
“Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest. Lewis is now isolating in accordance with Covid-19 protocols and public health guidelines in Bahrain. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery.”
The team is yet to unveil the name of the person that will be taking Lewis Hamiton’s place at the penultimate race of the season:
“We will announce the name of our substitute driver for this weekend at the right time”.
The main candidates to take, even if just for a day, the most coveted seat on the grid are the team’s official reserve drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez.
Vandoorne, who is currently taking part in the Formula E tests in Valencia, had plans to travel to Bahrain at the end of the training, to fulfil his obligations with the German team. Some sources, however, are not ruling out the name of Nico Hulkenberg just yet. The German drier has competed for Racing Point in three occasions this year instead of Checo Pérez, for the same reasons.
Images of Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes AMG F1.