Formula 1 had dodged the coronavirus with enough solvency and efficiency. Only two positive drivers in a platoon of 20, an acceptable percentage if one takes into account that the mobility of this sport is constant. From country to country, from airport to airport, from hotel to hotel and from circuit to circuit … F1 has lived 2020 in an isolation capsule among hundreds of PCR tests every weekend, but not even like that. The world champion, Lewis Hamilton, seventh title to his record, has tested positive for Covid and will not participate in the next grand prize, which will also be held in Bahrain (like the last one), although on a different circuit. On the day of Grosjean’s terrifying accident, Hamilton won at Shakir and the question inevitably arises. Did you win being positive for coronavirus?
His team, Mercedes, says no and that he followed all protocols. «Lewis was made three analyzes last week and it gave a negative result in each one of them. The last of these evaluations was carried out on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard schedule of tests that take place on competition weekends.
Hamilton has a certain reputation for being a hypochondriac. He has shown himself to be a strict observer of health regulations because, in short, he was very afraid of the virus, like everyone else. The Englishman, living in Monaco, did not stay in hotels every time he changed countries, but I slept in the Mercedes motorhome, the five-star rolling camp that teams set up on all European circuits. He traveled in his private plane to all parts of the planet.
He also took extreme precautions. Meetings with your engineers and other team members were carried out by zoom, to avoid personal contact in closed spaces. And according to the British media, he avoided social treatment, which limited his physical therapist Angela Cullen and his personal assistant Marc Hynes.
Mercedes F1 explains in a statement that last Monday, the Briton began to feel symptoms, which forced another PCR test. “He woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and at the same time was informed that a person he had had contact with prior to his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Given this situation, Lewis underwent one more test that yielded a positive result.
Hamilton has isolated himself at his hotel in Bahrain and follows the public health guidelines of the Arab emirate. He says he is “well and fit,” although “destroyed” by the positive. It is the third case Covid of drivers this year, after Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez, both from Racing Point. Both were replaced by the German Hulkenberg.
The change of English will be known in hours. Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, who was conducting Formula E tests in Valencia, travels to Bahrain. Other drivers with options to drive the best car are the Mexican Esteban Gutiérrez and the British George Russell.