Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and Zakhir will miss the Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team said on Tuesday.
The team released a statement last week saying Hamilton had been tested three times and given a negative result each time, the last being Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and at the same time was informed that he had tested positive after an introduction before arriving in Bahrain,” the team said. “Therefore, Lewis tested further and gave a positive result. Since then it has been confirmed by re-testing.”
Hamilton was left alone to comply with health protocols in Bahrain.
“In addition to the mild symptoms, he is healthy and well, and the whole team wishes him a speedy recovery,” the team statement said.
Hamilton, 35, was found dead at the end of a race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We ‘ve got a lot of high-speed corners, so I’m definitely feeling it,” he said after the GP. “I’ve been slipping a lot there and I’m not sure how it will play out in the end.”
There will be another race in Bahrain on Sunday before the end of the 17-race season in Abu Dhabi – on Zakhir’s short outer tur circuit.
Hamilton leads the F1 Drivers’ Championship with 332 points, followed by Mercedes teammate Valteri Botas with 201 points and Max Verstappen at 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later this week.