Hulkenberg replaces Vettel in Bahrain F1 GP after positive COVID test

Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel has been forced out of the Bahrain Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19, and will be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg replaces Vettel in Bahrain F1 GP after positive COVID test

Just 24 hours before practice begins for the F1 season opener, Aston Martin announced that Vettel would not be able to take part.

It means that Hulkenberg will be making his fourth appearance for the Aston Martin team having been drafted in previously when its drivers were taken ill.

Sergio Perez had to miss both Silverstone races in 2020, while Lance Stroll was forced out of that year’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurbugring.

Vettel is the ninth F1 driver to test positive and his absence comes just one week after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo had to miss last week’s pre-season test with COVID.

Prior to being taken unwell, the Australian had mixed with drivers ahead of the event for a Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) photoshoot on the Bahrain grid to show their solidarity with Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

F1 has relaxed its COVID protocols for this year, with its previously strict regime of regular mandatory PCR testing having been wound back.

Now, PCR tests are only recommended, and F1 has moved away from the strict bubble system that was in place throughout much of the 2020 and 2021 campaigns.

 

Bahrain’s regulations mean that positive cases normally face a seven-day quarantine period, which would put some doubt on whether or not Vettel could make it to next weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

However, exemptions can be made for elite sports people – with Lewis Hamilton having raced in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just one week after he was forced to miss that year’s Sakhir GP.

Should Vettel test negative in the days after the Bahrain GP, then he would likely be allowed to travel to Saudi to take part in the race.

Ricciardo has made a swift recovery from his COVID infection and is due to return to track action for this weekend’s F1 season opener, with Lando Norris having had to drive in all three days of last week’s test.

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari seeks further clarity over Mercedes F1 mirror concept
Previous article

Ferrari seeks further clarity over Mercedes F1 mirror concept

Next article

Why F1 2022's biggest political fight may not be at the front

Why F1 2022's biggest political fight may not be at the front
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022