Mercedes could end the Formula One season on a high as their ace driver Lewis Hamilton will race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend after returning Covid-19 negative.
Hamilton tested negative for coronavirus in Bahrain before boarding the flight to Abu Dhabi on Thursday. He then returned another coronavirus negative result on his arrival at the UAE, making his comeback guaranteed for the year-ending Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi on Friday.
A Mercedes statement 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.
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“Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock tomorrow and will be able to take part in the race weekend.”
Hamilton, who was replaced at last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix by fellow Briton George Russell, had already arrived in Abu Dhabi after completing quarantine in Bahrain, Mercedes added.
Racing for Constructor Champions Mercedes in the absence of Hamilton, 22-year-old Russell finished a disappointing ninth in the Sakhir GP after starting the race on a promising note and looking good to clinch his maiden win on his debut.
Hamilton clinched the Formula One drivers’ championship for a record equaling seventh time after he won the Turkish Grand Prix last month and took an unassailable lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas (201) and Max Verstappen (189).
The British driver has been in splendid form this season, winning 11 races. However, him missing out on the Bahrain Grand Prix will not not be able to win a 13th and equal Sebastian Vettel’s record, set in 2013 with Red Bull.