ABU DHABI: Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will return for Mercedes in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for Covid-19, the team said yesterday.
Hamilton was replaced for last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain by fellow Briton George Russell, who was unlucky not to win.
Mercedes said Hamilton, 35, had already arrived at the Yas Marina circuit after ending 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain.
Russell will now return to Williams, his regular team, with their reserve Jack Aitken standing down after his race debut last weekend.
“Lewis tested negative for Covid-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain,” Mercedes said in a statement.
“This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon and he tested negative on arrival.
“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,” added the team.
The FIA confirmed separately that Hamilton would be granted access to the paddock after testing negative in both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
The news gives Hamilton a shot at winning for the 12th time in 17 races, a result that would cement the pandemic-hit 2020 season as his most successful yet.
The Briton is already the sport’s most successful driver of all time, surpassing Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record 91 wins and equalling the German’s seven titles.