The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has just announced that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19.
The 2020 Formula 1 champion was tested three times last week as part of F1‘s current safety protocols and all three of those tests came up negative. However, when Lewis woke up Monday morning he felt symptoms consistent with COVID-19. He then learned that a “contact” of his had tested positive prior to their arrival to Bahrain for the GP last weekend.
After learning this, Lewis took another test which came back positive. According to the team statement (which you can read in full below), so far Lewis has only experienced “mild symptoms” so far.
As part of general safety precautions and the health guidelines in Bahrain, Lewis will be in quarantine for at least the next two weeks. This will result in Lewis missing the upcoming Sakhir GP this weekend.
Currently the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has not announced who would be filling the seat in Lewis’ stead. Though, with the race taking place this weekend it is likely that the team will announce a replacement within a few days.
The slightly sliver lining in this story is that Lewis has already clinched the 2020 F1 driver’s championship and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 has secured the manufacturers championship. So, Lewis sitting out will not put either of those things at risk.
However, with two races left in the season (counting the Sakhir GP) it’s safe to say this is not the way the champ wanted to close out 2020.
I wish Lewis a speedy recovery and hopefully he will be back in time to drive in the last race of 2020.
For now, I would venture to guess that the entire Mercedes-AMG F1 team will get tested along with any other F1 personnel who may have been in close contact with Lewis recently. Hopefully, by Lewis wearing his mask and practicing social distancing, he prevented himself from spreading the virus to anyone else.
I’ll post any updates as soon as they become available. For now you can read the full official team statement below.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Announcement: Lewis Hamilton Tests Positive For COVID-19
“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.
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.
We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course.”