Dubai: Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will race for Mercedes in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi season-ender after he tested negative for COVID-19 in multiple tests, the team said on Thursday.
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. Russell will now return to Williams for the weekend.
Fans were anxious that — despite matching Michael Schumacher’s record seven world titles with a brilliant run in Turkey last month — the British 35-year-old may not be able to give his campaign a fitting finish as the curtain comes down on 2020 in Abu Dhabi in Sunday.
Following a dominating victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix — the next stop along from Turkey — Hamilton complained of feeing ill and was showing mild symptoms of the virus. A positive COVID-19 test meant he was forced into isolation and had to miss the Sakhir GP. However, the man many now regard as the world’s greatest F1 driver will be back in the cockpit at Yas Marina Circuit as he looks to smash more records in a season like no other.
The FIA – the sport’s bosses – confirmed that Hamilton had returned a “number of negative COVID-19 tests” before travelling for the final race of the season from Bahrain.
“The Mercedes team is pleased to confirm that Lewis Hamilton will drive for the team this weekend.” the Silver Arrows tweeted late on Thursday evening. “Lewis has completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry into the paddock tomorrow and will be able to take part in the race. George Russell will return to Williams for the final event of the season.”