Lewis Hamilton to miss Sakhir GP after testing Covid-19 positive, fans back Bottas and Verstappen to win

Prior to this, Hamilton tested negative thrice the previous week but woke up on Monday, November 30, with mild symptoms, which saw him test positive


                            Lewis Hamilton to miss Sakhir GP after testing Covid-19 positive, fans back Bottas and Verstappen to win
(Getty Images)

In what appears to be a blow for Mercedes, seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19. The Briton tested positive on Monday, November 30, during the mandatory PCR test for the upcoming race at the same circuit as last weekend.

The previous race saw him add another win to his most efficient racing season. Prior to this, Hamilton tested negative thrice the previous week but woke up on Monday with mild symptoms.

While Mercedes may miss him for the race, the driver has nothing to worry about as he has won the driver's title already. While his replacement driver option is still unclear, all eyes will be on Stoffel Vandoorne, who, according to ESPN, is currently testing for Mercedes' Formula E team in Valencia. His last race was for McLaren in 2018. 

"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 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 race weekend testing program. 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 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. We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course," it added.

This makes Hamilton the third race driver to test positive after Racing Point drivers, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. Nico Hulkenberg, the former Renault driver, was called up and he took their places in both races the drivers missed. 

The news of his positive test also saw some responses on Twitter. "First off, best wishes to Lewis Hamilton — get well soon. Second, no matter who gets to drive it's a nice chance to compare the merc against the rest of the field in the hands of a different driver," read one of the tweets. Mercedes fans still had Valteri Bottas to root for. "Show them your speed this weekend Valtteri, nothing but bad luck this season," read a comment.

"That's about it tbh. VAN is doing FE testing so he needs to fly. Last time I checked, gutierrez doesn't have an active super license. I doubt they go with hulk," opined one of the fans. Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen fans smell a victory here: "Great opportunity for Lewis to show its not just the car. Really hope Max takes both victories to help prove that point."



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514