Lewis Hamilton set to compete at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will take part in the upcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for COVID-19. The seven-time world champion missed the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain last week after contracting the virus. He arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, upon completing 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain. Here is more on the same.
The FIA, Formula One and Mercedes confirmed that Hamilton had passed a number of negative COVID-19 tests after completing a 10-day quarantine period in Bahrain. Notably, he had already arrived in Abu Dhabi before testing negative, a requirement for gaining access to the F1 paddock.
Here is what a statement from Mercedes read. "Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival," it stated. "Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA, and will be able to take part in the race weekend."
In a recent video update, Hamilton said that he had experienced "one of the hardest weeks" after contracting the virus. He added that he was feeling better, and had completed his first training session since testing positive on November 30.
Hamilton will now reclaim his Mercedes seat, which was occupied by George Russell. The British driver, who starred on his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix as Hamilton's stand-in, will now return to Williams. Interestingly, this was the first race that Hamilton had missed since his F1 career began in 2007, after a record run of 265 consecutive starts.
It has been an eventful year for Hamilton. The 35-year-old emulated the great Michael Schumacher's record of seven world titles after winning the Turkish Grand Prix. Recently, it was announced that he will be knighted in New Year's Honors List. He now aims to end the season with a 12th victory, at a track where he has won five times (Abu Dhabi).