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Hamilton tests positive to COVID-19

Six time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will miss a race for the first time since his debut drive in 2007, ruled out of this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Mercedes driver returned three negative tests last week but began displaying mild symptoms on Monday after coming into contact with an individual who has subsequently tested positive..

Mercedes say they will announce Hamilton's temporary replacement "in due course". Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez are the team's reserve drivers.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mercedes 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.

"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."

The race will mark the first time Hamilton has missed a race since his debut in Formula One in 2007, but will not affect his championship triumph having secured the 2020 F1 title last month.

IMAGE: Planet F1.

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