Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Petronas F1 Mercedes-AMG team said on Tuesday.
The team issued a statement saying that Hamilton had been tested three times last week and always returned a negative result, the last Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he woke up Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that contact before arriving in Bahrain had subsequently proved positive,” the team said. “So, Lewis took a further test and returned a positive result. Since then this has been confirmed by a retest.”
Hamilton is on its own according to the health protocols in Bahrain.
“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and healthy, and the whole team sends him his best wishes for a speedy recovery,” the team’s statement said.
Hamilton, 35, appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We have a lot of fast corners so I definitely felt it,” he said shortly after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t quite sure how it would play out at the end.”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday – on the shorter outer circuit of Sakhir – before the 17-race season ends in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers ‘championship with 332 points, well ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes’ teammate at 201 points and Max Verstappen’s 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce another driver later in the week.