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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus and will miss Sakhir Grand Prix

Mercedes' world champion in isolation after showing mild symptoms

Lewis Hamilton will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus, Formula One has announced.

The seven-time world champion and Mercedes driver is in isolation after his positive result was announced on Tuesday morning.

A statement said: "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, 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."

Hamilton who on Sunday won the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of back-to-back races in the Gulf state, has already secured a record-equalling seventh world championship this season.

"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," a statement from Hamilton's Mercedes team said.

"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 authority 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 added that Hamilton had been tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time as part of the sport's strict anti-virus protocols.

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week. Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for Covid-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.

Organisers said Hamilton needs a negative test before being allowed to return to the F1 paddock and, therefore, remains a doubtful starter for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton sealed his seventh title in Turkey two races ago to equal the all-time record of Michael Schumacher

He then cruised to his 11th win this year and record-increasing 95th victory on Sunday in a race overshadowed by Romain Grosjean's horrific crash, which left the Frenchman receiving hospital treatment for burns after his car exploded in flames after ploughing into a barrier.

"It was such a shocking image to see," said Hamilton.

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas were having to "live like hermits" earlier this season to avoid Covid-19, revealed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff after the team recorded two positive cases at the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany in October.

Updated: December 1, 2020 01:54 PM

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