Sebastian Vettel will start his season at next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after recovering from COVID-19.
The German completed pre-season testing but then tested positive for COVID on the eve of the opening race in Bahrain and had to be replaced at late notice by Nico Hulkenberg. Despite Aston Martin then giving him as much time as possible to clear the required protocols to be able to race in Saudi Arabia, Hulkenberg remained in the car for the second round.
However, two weeks after he came down with the virus, Vettel has now been cleared to return in Melbourne next week.
“We are pleased to confirm that Sebastian Vettel is now fit to race and will therefore line up alongside Lance Stroll in Melbourne to kick off his 2022 F1 season at the Australian Grand Prix,” Aston Martin said in a statement.
The two races Vettel missed were tough ones for the team, with Stroll finishing 12th in Bahrain and Hulkenberg matching that result in Saudi Arabia, leaving Aston Martin ninth in the early constructors’ championship ahead of Williams as the only two teams yet to score.
The opening two rounds were also the first race weekends that Vettel had not taken part in since the 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring – the race before he was promoted to Toro Rosso – ending a streak of 279 consecutive entries.