Lewis Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19

The race was scheduled to be held Sunday. Photo: File

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton will not be available for the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after the Formula 1 driver tested positive for the coronavirus, said his Mercedes team on Tuesday.

The race was scheduled to be held Sunday.

“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,” said his team in a statement on Twitter. 

The Briton, who holds the joint record for most championship wins, was tested thrice in the last week with results coming in as negative. His team added that the last test was done on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.

“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 Briton’s driving team.

The Mercedes team said that the driver had taken a test after being informed of the situation.

“Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest,” said the statement.

The statement said that Lewis was now in isolation, adding that apart from showing mild symptoms the driver was “fit and well”.

Mercedes has said that they will announce their replacement driver for this weekend’s race in “due course”. 

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