Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will return to action to race at this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for coronavirus on multiple occasions.

Hamilton contracted coronavirus 11 days ago and was forced to skip last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix as he missed the first race weekend of his career since making his F1 debut back in 2007.

George Russell, who acted as stand-in for Hamilton and starred on his Mercedes debut by coming close to claiming a fairytale maiden victory, will return to Williams to contest the final round of the season.

A statement issued by the FIA and Mercedes on Thursday confirmed that Hamilton had returned a number of negative COVID-19 tests after completing his mandatory 10-day isolation period and had arrived in Abu Dhabi after being granted permission to travel from Bahrain by the local authorities.

The seven-time world champion has now been cleared to access the F1 paddock at the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday, paving the way for him to take part in practice and the remainder of the weekend.

“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to confirm that Lewis Hamilton will drive for the team in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” Mercedes confirmed in a team statement.

“Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival.

“Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock tomorrow and will be able to take part in the race weekend.

“George Russell will return to Williams Racing for the final event of the 2020 season.”

Russell’s return to his regular seat at Williams means that Jack Aitken will miss the opportunity to contest a second F1 race weekend in his role as reserve driver for the Grove-based outfit.

 

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