• Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19.
• The driver will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.
• The Mercedes team is yet to announce a replacement driver.
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Lewis Hamilton has been ruled out of this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix following a positive result on his Covid-19 test. The 2020 Formula 1 champion has won the past weekend's Bahrain GP after starting on pole position and remained in the country for the Sakhir GP - held at the same venue.
In the week leading up to a race, teams and drivers are tested for Covid-19. If the returned result is negative, individuals can enter the track facilities. If not, they have to quarantine until their bodies are clean of any trace of the virus.
Hamilton is not the first driver to have contracted Covid-19 in 2020. Earlier this year, Racing Point's Sergio Perez also tested postive for the virus following a visit to his family home in Mexico. The driver had to sit out two races and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for the British GP and the 70th Anniversary GP.
Perez's team mate, Lance Stroll, also tested positive ahead of the Eifel GP, with the team again bringing in the services of Hulkenberg.
The Mercedes-AMG team is in a race against time to announce a stand-in driver for Hamilton. The team can look at its pool of reserve drivers, but none of of them are familiar with an F1 car. George Russell could be drafted from Williams, but it would leave this year's slowest team with its own predicament of finding a replacement driver for Russell. While Russell would jump at the opportunity to drive Hamilton's championship-winning car, the decision to call up Russell will unsettle too many things.
The Mercedes team can look at F1's 'super sub', Nico Hulkenberg. The driver, who's been ousted at the end of the 2019 season, performed admirably when driving for the Racing Point team. In his last outing, replacing Ocon at the very last minute, Hulkenberg qualified last but ended the race in eighth place. This impressed the entire F1 paddock and the driver proved that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
If Hulkenberg does get the call to race for Mercedes, he will realise a life-long dream of racing for a championship-winning team in F1. Earlier this year, Ross Brawn said that if Hamilton did not sign with Mercedes back in 2012, Hulkenberg was the next driver the team would have targeted.
More on the story as it develops.