Mercedes have flown Lewis Hamilton into Abu Dhabi for a dramatic return from Covid.
Amid secrecy, the world champion has been given clearance by the local authorities to arrive here in time for the season-closing round on Sunday.
Hamilton, who tested positive for coronavirus last Tuesday, is desperate to be back in the cockpit after missing the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain – the first race he has missed since his Formula One debut in 2007.
Lewis Hamilton will return in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for Covid
Hamilton is desperate to be back in the cockpit after missing the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain
Mercedes, knowing the depth of his desire, promised to give him until the last moment to prove his fitness.
Hamilton has served his 10-day quarantine in Bahrain. The FIA have confirmed that he tested negative for Covid, a prerequisite for entering Abu Dhabi.
All the F1 community is stationed on Yas Island close to the track after being subjected to swabbing on arrival at the airport.
Although most of the 1,200-strong group arrived here in a sequence of charter flights on Monday, Hamilton has been allowed special dispensation to touch down on Thursday. He has already arrived.
George Russell, who stood in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix, returns to Williams
That is bad news for George Russell, his fellow Englishman, who stepped into the breach a week ago and nearly won the race only to be hit by a pit-stop blunder and then a puncture.
‘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,’ the world champions said in a statement late on Thursday evening.
‘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 was cruelly robbed of victory on his debut for the world champions last weekend
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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