F1 champion tests positive for COVID-19

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus and will not feature in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.

The F1 confirmed the bombshell news in a statement on Tuesday evening AEDT.

“The FIA, Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team can today confirm that during mandatory pre-race PCR testing for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement read.

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“In accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared. The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event.”

BREAKING: Lewis Hamilton will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after a positive test for Covid-19 pic.twitter.com/c0XCfyDmWZ

Wishing Lewis a speedy recovery. Crazy that someone out of the blue is now going to get to drive the fastest F1 car in history this weekend!! #F1 #SakhirGP

Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid19. He returned 3 negative tests last week, but after feeling mild symptoms on Monday learnt a close contact had tested positive. His latest test proved positive.

Wishing him a speedy recovery.

Replacement to be announced soon.

The British superstar has already secured the 2020 F1 Drivers’ Championship, regardless of whether he features in the season’s final two races.

On Sunday, Hamilton won his 11th Grand Prix of the season at Bahrain International Circuit, extending his lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in second place.

The news throws the Formula 1 grid into chaos with Mercedes set to announce the superstar’s replacement driver in due course.

“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 team statement read.

“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 progamme.

“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. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fir and well, and the entire team sends him our very best wishes for a swift recovery.

“We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course.”

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain.Source:Getty Images

Autosport reporter Luke Smith said Mercedes’ designated reserve driver would be travelling to Bahrain after doing a Formula E test.

Hamilton is the third driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season after Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.

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