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Lewis Hamilton Contracts Covid-19 And Will Miss 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Seven-time defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus and will miss this weekend’s 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.

The 35-year-old Hamilton tested positive for coronavirus on Monday and then returned consecutive positive results on subsequent retests, according to Mercedes. Hamilton is now quarantining.

Hamilton no longer needs to amass points in races as he already clinched his record-tying seventh world title at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix last month and Mercedes long ago clinched the constructors title as well.

According to FiA protocols, Hamilton must return a negative test before returning to race, which means he may also miss the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13, 2020.

This weekend’s race will be the first Hamilton has missed since his F1 debut at the 2007 season-opening race in Australia.

Hamilton may have been in a coronavirus incubation stage during last weekend’s 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix as Mercedes said Hamilton was tested three times last week – including on race day at the Bahrain International Circuit – and returned a negative result on each occasion, but was subsequently informed that one of his contacts “prior to arrival in Bahrain” had tested positive for the virus.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for coronavirus this season following Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.

Mercedes have not said who will replace Hamilton but Belgian former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne – currently Mercedes’ reserve driver – will travel to Bahrain as originally planned after a Formula E test in Valencia, Spain.

Mercedes may also consider using current Williams driver George Russell, however, Russell is under contract to Williams until the end of next season and the British team would have to agree to release him temporarily before Mercedes could put him in Hamilton’s car.

Williams is currently last in the constructors’ championship standings.

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