F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus | News | DW | 01.12.2020
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F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus

Mercedes will replace Lewis Hamilton for the Sakhir Grand Prix. The seven time world champion has gone into isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

World champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, Formula One's governing body FIA announced Tuesday.

"In accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain he (Hamilton) is now isolating," said an FIA statement. The FIA said the incident would not affect the weekend event. 

The 35-year-old Briton has "mild symptoms," according to Mercedes but "is otherwise fit and well." 

Hamilton, who on Sunday won the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of back-to-back races in the Gulf state, has already secured a record-equaling seventh world championship this season.

Read more: Romain Grosjean survives shocking crash as Hamilton wins in Bahrain

"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," the statement from Mercedes said.

Mercedes added that Hamilton had been tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time as part of the sport's strict anti-virus protocols. The last test was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain circuit.

Read more: As F1 tries to go racing in a pandemic, what's changed?

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week. Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia. 

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.

mo/dr (AFP, dpa, AP)

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