Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive to COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Hamilton was preparing in Bahrain for the meet but a statement released by the F1 says two separate tests following symptoms confirmed the seven-time champion had contracted the coronavirus.
The Mercedes driver’s 131-point lead on top of the 2020 F1 standings means his absence will have no impact on his season having already wrapped up the title in Turkey in November.
A statement released by his team said Hamilton is in a stable condition and is recovering in isolation.
“Lewis is now isolating in accordance with Covid-19 protocols,” the Mercedes statement read.
“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery.”
The 35-year-old, who has had 13 podiums this year, needs to return a negative test prior to the final race in Abu Dhabi to be eligible to finish his year on the tarmac.
Either one of Mercedes’ back-up drivers Stoffel Vandoorne or Esteban Gutierrez could be called upon to replace Hamilton for the final two GPs of the year.
Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive this season after Mexico’s Sergio Perez and Canada’s Lance Stroll.