Lewis Hamilton will race for Mercedes in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after passing a number of COVID-19 protocols and arriving at the circuit.
The 2020 world champion missed the Sakhir Grand Prix as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 the day after winning the previous race in Bahrain, forcing him to self-isolate for 10 days. At the end of his isolation period Hamilton returned a negative test that allowed him to travel to Abu Dhabi, where he then also cleared testing to be allowed entry. Mercedes has confirmed that with the FIA’s approval that the protocols have been followed, Hamilton will return to the car tomorrow.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to confirm that Lewis Hamilton will drive for the team in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” a Mercedes statement read.
“Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival.
“Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock tomorrow and will be able to take part in the race weekend.
“George Russell will return to Williams Racing for the final event of the 2020 season.”
Russell excelled on his substitute appearance for Hamilton, missing out on pole position to Valtteri Bottas by just 0.026s and looking set for victory on his Mercedes debut until a pit stop error and later puncture limited him to ninth place and the fastest lap. His return to Williams means Jack Aitken will not race, having stepped in for Russell on Sunday in Bahrain.
The official FIA entry list confirms Hamilton’s return, with Russell back at Williams and both Mick Schumacher and Robert Kubica making FP1 appearances for Haas and Alfa Romeo respectively.