Sakhir—World champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, Formula One’s governing body FIA announced Tuesday.
“In accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain he (Hamilton) is now isolating,” said an FIA statement.
“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event.”
Hamilton who on Sunday won the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of back-to-back races in the Gulf state, has already secured a record-equalling seventh world championship this season.
“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,” a statement from Hamilton’s Mercedes team said.
“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 team added that Hamilton had been tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time as part of the sport’s strict anti-virus protocols, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain circuit.
Meanwhile, race officials and drivers praised the modern safety systems developed for Formula One on Sunday after Romain Grosjean said he was “okay” after surviving a high-speed crash and fireball blaze on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman’s car rammed into the barriers as he braked hard from around 250 km/h (155 mph) during the opening lap, the front part hammering into the steel guardrails which buckled.
Grosjean, 34, trapped in his cockpit, flew under the barrier as it gave way and as his car burst into flames, splitting in two on impact, but managed to escape with only “light burns” to his hands and ankles.
“Hello everyone, just wanted to say I’m okay, well, sort of okay,” said Grosjean from his hospital bed in a video posted on social media.
“Thank you very much for all the messages.”
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