Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus and will miss Sakhir Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.
The recently-crowned seven-time Formula One world champion is now in quarantine and has been ruled out of Sunday’s race in Bahrain.
His Mercedes team said that Hamilton reported "mild symptoms" on Monday morning less than 24 hours after he claimed his 11th win of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Briton, who claimed his record-equalling world title in Turkey last month, becomes the third driver to test positive for the virus this season following Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.
A Mercedes statement said: "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.
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"Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was 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. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.
"Lewis is now isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery.
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"We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course."
An FIA statement added: "The FIA, Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team can today confirm that during mandatory pre-race PCR testing for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19.
"In accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared.
"The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event."
His Mercedes team said that Hamilton reported "mild symptoms" on Monday morning
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Mercedes have yet to confirm who will replace the 35-year-old for Sunday's grand prix on the Outer Loop of the Bahrain International Circuit.
Mercedes reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, formerly of McLaren, is in the running, while the world champions could also turn to British driver George Russell.
Russell, 22, is in his second season with Williams, but is a member of the Mercedes junior driver programme.
His absence ends Hamilton’s possibility of equalling the record of 13 wins in one F1 season this year – and will be the first race he has missed since his debut at the 2007 season-opening race in Australia.