Lewis Hamilton tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday, a result that will allow the seven-time world champion to race in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton missed out on the Sakhir Grand Prix last weekend after testing positive for the coronavirus on the Monday before the race.
Russell Nearly Wins as Mercedes Replacement in Sakhir
The Mercedes driver had already clinched his fourth straight title when he withdrew from the Sakhir race. Hamilton won the previous five Grand Prix contests, and 11 races in total during the 2020 F1 season.
“The FIA, Formula One, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team can today confirm that Lewis Hamilton has returned a number of negative COVID-19 tests,” the FIA said in a statement. “He has completed his 10-day quarantine in Bahrain, and was free to leave the country according to the Bahraini health authority regulations.”
Hamilton proceeded to test negative again in Abu Dhabi, a requirement for him to enter the Formula One paddock.
Last weekend, Williams driver George Russell replaced Hamilton and nearly earned Mercedes another victory. Russell saw his chance for glory slip away twice, first when his pit crew accidentally placed the wrong tires on his car during a stop. Russell held the lead before that incident. He then worked his way up to second place before a late puncture forced another pit stop. He finished in ninth.
“You’re in your first race in a Mercedes and you should have won it, actually, for driving a monumental race, and there’s not a lot you can say,” Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff told Sky Sports. “And this is where we are, but it’s not going to be his last attempt to win a race. It’s just the beginning of a fairytale that didn’t work out today, and I would say a new star is born.”
Hamilton Favored vs. Field in Abu Dhabi
Hamilton reentered the field as the odds-on favorite, as usual. FanDuel Sportsbook lists Hamilton as the -270 pick to win in Abu Dhabi, ahead of Veltteri Bottas (+350) and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (+600). Verstappen was among the favorites to win in Sakhir with Hamilton’s absence, but crashed out on the first lap.
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Lewis Hamilton: -270|
|Valtteri Bottas: +350|
|Max Verstappen: +600|
|George Russell: +1100|
|Sergio Perez: +3000|
Bottas came into Sakhir as the first choice, but finished eighth for the second consecutive week. Sergio Perez (+3000) ultimately picked up his first win of the season.
While Hamilton has run away with the Drivers’ Championship, there’s still an open race for second place heading into the final race of the season. Bottas currently leads Verstappen by 16 points, meaning Verstappen could potentially pass him with a top-two finish in Abu Dhabi. Bottas will clinch second place in the overall standings with a top-five finish.