World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team said on Tuesday.
The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit, where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact before arriving in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive, ” the team said.” Lewis therefore took another test and returned a positive result. This was confirmed by a new test. “
Hamilton is isolated according to health protocols in Bahrain.
“In addition to the mild symptoms, he is in good shape and well, and the whole team sends him his best wishes for a speedy recovery,” said the team statement.
Hamilton, 35, looked exhausted at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“ʻIt´s physical, this track has always been physical. We have a lot of high speed corners, so I was definitely feeling it,” he said shortly after the GP. “I was slipping a lot and I wasn’t sure what it would be like in the end.”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday – on Sakhir’s shortest external circuit – before the end of the 17-race season in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big advantage in the champion of F1 drivers with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with 201 points and Max Verstappen with 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce a new driver later in the week.
Hamilton joins Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll as the third Formula One driver to test positive for the coronavirus this season.