Lewis Hamilton will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19 but just who is Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver?
Mercedes have announced this morning (Tuesday, December 1st) that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19.
The newly-crowned seven-time world champion will be forced to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this coming weekend and will be a doubt for the Abu Dhabi season finale on December 13th,
As a result, Mercedes will need to find a replacement to fill Lewis Hamilton’s seat for at least the next race, if not two races.
But just who is Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver?
Lewis Hamilton tests positive for Covid-19
It was announced by Mercedes F1 team on Tuesday, December 1st that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19.
According to the statement released via Mercedes’ social media platforms, Lewis Hamilton woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and returned a positive Covid test and a subsequent retest also came back positive.
Lewis Hamilton is now the third driver to test positive for Covid-19 this season after Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, both of whom made full recoveries and are now racing again for the Racing Point team.
Lewis Hamilton will be unable to take part in this coming weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix and will also be a doubt for the season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 13th.
Who is Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver?
- Mercedes’ F1 reserve drivers are Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutiérrez.
Belgian’s Stoffel Vandoorne drove for McLaren between 2017 and 2018 and is currently racing in Formula E.
This past weekend, Vandoorne has been in Valencia, taking part in a pre-season test for the upcoming Formula E season but is reportedly travelling to Bahrain ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Esteban Gutiérrez is Mercedes’ simulator driver and most recently had Formula 1 experience with Haas when he partnered Romain Grosjean in 2016.
Fans react to Hamilton Covid news
It’s safe to say that the news of Hamilton’s Covid-19 test has been a shock to F1 fans as the newly-crowned seven-time world champion will be forced to miss a race for the first time in his 13-year career.
There were plenty of get well soon messages for Hamilton, as former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde jokingly wrote:
Speedy recovery wished for Lewis. In the meantime, did you guys know I’ve finished on the podium in Bahrain two weeks ago? Just wanted to let you know. pic.twitter.com/LvAJ8V7qkh— Giedo van der Garde (@GvanderGarde) December 1, 2020
While others quickly began speculating about who could replace the most successful driver in Formula One history.
This fan made a case for Mercedes’ young driver, George Russell who currently drives for Williams: “Vandoorne would be the obvious choice, and I’d be delighted for him. A part of me wishes it’s Russell, however unlikely it is. If he matches or beats Bottas, that’d be telling if he’s good enough for the top top seat we all wish to see him in.”
While this fan hopes to see Racing Point’s super-sub, Nico Hulkenberg, given a chance in the Mercedes: “Our hearts say Hulkenberg. Our mind says Vandoorne.”
Mercedes are expected to make an announcement on their driver plans for the Sakhir Grand Prix in due course.