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Ricciardo tests positive for COVID-19, will miss final F1 test day

McLaren has announced that Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has tested positive for Covid-19.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, is interviewed

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, is interviewed

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

McLaren Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be forced to miss the final day of testing in Bahrain on Saturday.

His team has suggested that his participation in next weekend’s Bahrain GP is not under threat and that he will be able to take part.

Lando Norris will drive the MCL36 for a third consecutive day of testing on Saturday.

Ricciardo was due to drive the car on Thursday morning’s first session in Sakhir, but he was feeling unwell and so Norris did both the morning and afternoon sessions.

The team hoped that he would be able to drive on Friday morning, but shortly before action began it reported that he was still feeling unwell, noting that it “will continue to assess him before he resumes duties”.

It added: “Daniel has had several precautionary COVID-19 tests during this time, which have been negative throughout.”

However any chance of a return to the cockpit on Saturday was ended when he had a positive test on Friday.

In a statement issued on Friday evening the team said: “McLaren Racing can confirm that after feeling unwell from Wednesday onwards in Bahrain, Daniel Ricciardo has now returned a positive PCR test for COVID-19.

Ricciardo was pictured in the paddock on Wednesday at an anti-war photoshoot, but was too unwell to drive on Thursday or Friday

Ricciardo was pictured in the paddock on Wednesday at an anti-war photoshoot, but was too unwell to drive on Thursday or Friday

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“Daniel is therefore continuing to isolate in accordance with local regulations.

“Under these regulations Daniel will be released in time for next weekend’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Daniel is already beginning to feel better, and we wish him well for a quick recovery.

“Following this, we can confirm that Lando Norris will remain in the MCL36 for the final day of the official pre-season test in Bahrain tomorrow.”

Ricciardo tweeted: “Better this week than next… Unfortunate to miss the test, but I’m starting to feel better. I’ll stay isolated and just focus on next weekend.

“Big thanks to Lando & McLaren for the heavy lifting, I owe you some beers (milk for Lando). Appreciate the well wishes from everyone.”

Assuming that Ricciardo is indeed passed fit to take part in next weekend’s race he will be at a significant disadvantage after missing all three days of the Bahrain test.

If he is not able to take part the McLaren will have to call on a reserve driver. It has an arrangement with Mercedes to share its reserve drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries.

Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Nikita Mazepin have all had to miss races due to testing positive for COVID-19.

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