Lewis Hamilton is unable to race in the upcoming Sakir Grand Prix this weekend because he tested positive for COVID-19.
The Formula One driver made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday morning.
“Hi guys. I’m devastated that I won’t be racing this weekend,” he wrote. “Since we started the season in June, my team and I have been taking all the precautions we possibly can and following the regulations everywhere we’ve been in order to stay safe.”
The 35-year-old continued, “Unfortunately, even though I returned three negative results this past week, I woke up yesterday morning with mild symptoms and requested another test which came back positive. I’ve immediately gone into self-isolation for ten days. I’m gutted not to be able to race the weekend but my priority is to follow the protocols and advice to protect others.”
Hamilton took the time to encourage his 21.1 million followers to take precaution as the coronavirus cases rise. “I’m really lucky that I feel ok with only mild symptoms and will do my best to stay fit and healthy. Please look at yourselves out there. You can never be too careful. These are worrying times for everyone and we need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and each other. Stay positive.”
Mercedes F1 Team also released an official statement confirming Lewis Hamilton’s diagnosis, according to ESPN. “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team regrets to announce that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unable to take part in this weekend’s Sakhir GP,” the statement read. “Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.”
The statement continued, “However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”