Romain Grosjean won’t be the only Formula 1 driver sitting out the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain following his intense crash last race weekend. Newly crowned seven-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton will also be missing the race after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team announced that Hamilton woke up Monday morning with mild symptoms.
“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,” said the Mercedes-AMG F1 team in a statement.
Currently, Hamilton is isolating following COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain. Apart from mild symptoms, Mercedes says the F1 champion is otherwise fit and well. They also send him their best wishes for a swift recovery.
Who will replace Hamilton at the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix then? Currently, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team has yet to announce who will replace the seven-time champion. The team says they will only do so in due time.
For reference, the team currently has two reserve drivers in their lineup – Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez. Either of the two could be chosen as Hamilton’s substitute. Though less likely, it is also possible that they pick someone outside of their lineup. Nico Hulkenburg has been the substitute for various drivers this season, particularly for the Racing Point F1 team. Could Mercedes get the Hulk and get him his long overdue podium?