As confirmed by a statement posted on Twitter by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team on Tuesday (below), Hamilton has only “mild symptoms,” but at least two tests on Monday confirmed the diagnosis. The seven-time F1 series champion was tested three times last week, including a negative test on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain GP, a race Hamilton went on to win.
Hamilton is now “isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines,” the team said. According to a statement attributed to Hamilton himself, the 35-year-old driver will be in “self-isolation for 10 days.” The news means that a number of Hamilton’s longevity records are set to go by the wayside. Hamilton has been an extraordinarily durable and consistent presence on Sundays, having not missed a race day since 2007.
As noted on Twitter by F1 series presenter Will Buxton, it’s possible Hamilton will not be able to return for the Abu Dhabi GP scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13 due to strict local quarantine regulations, so it’s also possible Lewis has raced for the last time this season. Good thing he’s already nailed down this year’s championship.
News of the diagnosis has sent the F1 world into a fervor of speculation as to who will replace Hamilton for the Sakhir GP. The team says it will determine who will race alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas soon.