Aston Martin announced on Thursday that Sebastian Vettel will not participate in the opening weekend of the Formula 1 season in Bahrain. After testing positive for COVID-19, This is the second case on the grid. After Ricciardo’s pre-season miss That too because of coronavirus.
Reserve driver and partner Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg, will race in the AMR22, in place of the four-time champion. This will be the German’s fourth return to the category since leaving Renault at the end of 2019. Since then, he has replaced Sergio Pérez in both races in the United Kingdom in 2020 (in one of them he had problems and did not start), and Lance Stroll at the Eiffel GP in Germany, also in 2020.
Recently, Formula 1 has eased health protocols related to COVID-19 in the paddock. For example, to enter a team location, it is no longer necessary to submit a negative PCR test done in the last 24 hours. However, it concerns Charles Leclerc, who is concerned about the relaxation of preventive measures:
, It is good that things are slowly returning to normal. But we need to be careful, even among the pilots and all of them, because COVID has not disappeared overnight. As of now, if you have COVID, you can’t run, and it’s very expensive. We need to be careful.
Testing positive for coronavirus ends one of the great sequences of ‘entries’ in Formula 1 races. Since 2007, it will be the first F1 GP without Vettel’s participation, at the Nürburgring, and to date the only Bahrain race. The German did not fall in 2016. The four-time champions in this category will make their 281st entry in F1, the second-highest number of points in history.
The highest number of consecutive Formula 1 weekend entries is by Rubens Barrichello, who managed 326 consecutive stages. Lewis Hamilton is behind Vettel with 265.
Weekends in Bahrain begin at 9:00 AM Brasilia time on Friday the 18th. The race is on Sunday, the 20th, starting at 12:00.