F1 Champ Lewis Hamilton Tests Positive for COVID-19, Will Miss Sakhir Grand Prix

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton will miss Sunday’s F1 Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive for COVID-19.

Hamilton and the team posted to their social media platforms about the diagnosis on Tuesday. The positive test came on Monday after Hamilton won the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. The win tied his career-best streak of five consecutive wins in Formula 1.

The missed race will also end Hamilton’s current streak of 265 consecutive race starts, which is a Formula 1 record.

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Hamilton is the third Formula 1 driver to test positive and miss races due to COVID-19. Earlier this season, Racing Point driver Sergio Perez missed two races, while Perez ‘s teammate Lance Stroll missed one race.

The missed race on Sunday in Bahrain will have no bearing on Hamilton’s championship. He’s already clinched his seventh championship, while his Mercedes team has clinched the 2020 F1 Constructors’ Championship.

Hamilton could miss not only this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, but also on the season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 13.

According to the rules in Bahrain, those who test positive to COVID-19 in Bahrain must self-isolate for 10 days, even if they get a negative test in the ensuing period of time. Hamilton tested positive on Monday, and so in theory cannot leave Bahrain until Thursday, December 10.

The problem is that the whole F1 circus is being transported to Abu Dhabi on special charter flights on Dec. 7 and 8 and no one else is supposed to enter Yas Island after that.

The agreements with F1 are unique to the charters and if Hamilton is not on one of them, he would need to take a separate charter and follow Abu Dhabi’s rules, although perhaps there are arrangements for top F1 people that have not been made public. The requirement for all other flights is a test on arrival and then “passengers will be required to self-isolate for four days. After the four-day isolation period, passengers will be required to undertake a secondary PCR test to check for a COVID-19 infection.”

If the rules are followed therefore, Hamilton cannot compete in Abu Dhabi.

But will the governments be willing to bend the rule? That would not really help them in their fight against COVID-19.

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