Daniel Ricciardo has been cleared to race in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix having recovered from COVID-19.
The Australian driver tested positive last week after feeling unwell, and was forced to miss the entire pre-season test as a result. McLaren had multiple options should he be unfit to race in the season opener — with Alpine offering up Oscar Piastri as well as Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries — but the team has now confirmed Ricciardo has returned multiple negative tests that will allow him to end his isolation tomorrow.
“McLaren F1 Team confirms that after testing positive for COVID-19 during last week, Daniel has now returned a number of negative tests and will therefore return to the paddock on Thursday ready to compete in this weekend’s Bahrain GP,” a team statement read.
“Daniel has been feeling better each day as he continued to recover while in isolation following local regulations in Bahrain.”
Ricciardo will still start the race weekend on the back foot as a result of his recent illness, having only completed a day and a half of testing in Barcelona prior to the opening race. McLaren struggled with overheating brakes throughout the test in Bahrain, resulting in Lando Norris completing just 200 laps over the three days.
The agreement with Alpine regarding Piastri covers the entire season, meaning the reigning Formula 2 champion will be available to McLaren if required at future races.