F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus just days after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The British driver, 35, has mild symptoms according to his Mercedes team and has been forced to isolate in a hotel in Bahrain for 10 days, ruling him out of the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix.
It is unclear when Hamilton caught the virus, though Mercedes have confirmed someone he came into contact with before arriving in Bahrain has also tested positive.
Hamilton arrived in Bahrain on November 26 having spent two weeks at home in Monaco celebrating his F1 world championship.
He won the title after winning the Turkish Grand Prix on November 15 and flew home on the same evening.
While in Monaco, he was seen enjoying a run on the beach and a game of tennis with his father Anthony.
In another video, the Mercedes driver could be seen travelling in the same car alongside Anthony and his friend Daniel ‘Spinz’ Forrest.
While both his father and Forrest were wearing masks, Hamilton did not have a face covering on.
It’s unclear exactly when or where the video was taken, though it appears to have been posted on social media on November 25, the day before Hamilton was seen at the track in Bahrain.
It has also not been revealed if Anthony or Forrest have tested positive.
It can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear after having contact with someone with the illness, suggesting Hamilton most likely contracted Covid in Monaco or very shortly after arriving in Bahrain.
Hamilton was seen exchanging elbow taps with members of the Mercedes team in the aftermath of his victory in Bahrain over the weekend.
His team say Hamilton was tested extensively last week, returning three negative results, including one on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit.
However, on Monday he woke up with mild coronavirus symptoms before being informed that a contact prior to his arrival in Bahrain had tested positive for the illness.
Hamilton then took another test which came back positive and was confirmed by a further retest.
The seven-time world champion, due to be knighted in the New Year’s Honours List, has not missed an F1 race since his debut in the sport in 2007 but will now sit on the sidelines for the penultimate race of the season.
A Formula One statement on Tuesday said: ‘The FIA, Formula One and Mercedes Team can today confirm that during mandatory pre-race PRC testing for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19.
‘In accordance with Covid-19 protocols, he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared. The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula One will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event.’
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