Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for Covid-19 and will be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the Aston Martin team said on Thursday.
German veteran Vettel, 34, is the second driver after Daniel Ricciardo to test positive for coronavirus since pre-season testing began but the McLaren driver will be fit to race.
A statement from Aston Martin read: “Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not therefore be taking part in the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Replacing him in the AMR22 will be Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who will be in the car from FP1 onwards.”
Aston Martin’s reserve driver Hulkenberg, 34, last competed in F1 in 2020.
F1 has made it compulsory for all drivers and team personnel to be vaccinated this year.