Lewis Hamilton To Miss First Race Of F1 Career After Testing Positive For Covid-19

Topline

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is the latest sports star to test positive for coronavirus and is currently self-isolating after experiencing mild symptoms, his Mercedes team announced on Tuesday, meaning he will sit out this Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain—the first absence of his F1 career.

Key Facts

Hamilton’s diagnosis comes days after he won the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

His Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said in a statement that the sports star was tested three times last week, each time testing negative, including on Sunday.

“However he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had tested positive,” the statement read.

A test and subsequent retest revealed the positive result, with Hamilton, 35, self-isolating with mild symptoms and being “otherwise fit and well.”

Hamilton’s illness comes after the driver self-isolated in March, although experienced no symptoms, following an event he attended after which two people tested positive.

What To Watch For

Mercedes is set to announce a replacement driver for Sunday’s race in due course. With the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 13, it remains to be seen whether Hamilton will test negative in time to take part.

Big Number

87,000. That’s how many coronavirus cases have been recorded in Bahrain, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Key Background

Hamilton’s illness comes amid a triumphant world championship season that has seen him claim his seventh world title in Turkey on Nov. 15. That puts the world’s best ever racing driver alongside Michael Schumacher in terms of world title wins. But the star alluded to some challenges during Sunday’s race, particularly the physical element of the track: “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end,” he said. Hamilton now makes three F1 drivers to have tested positive during the 2020 season along with a number of F1 staff, while at least 10 Grand Prix races have been cancelled or postponed as a result of pandemic lockdowns.

Tangent

Sunday’s race also saw Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean escape a life-threatening crash with minor burns, after his car crashed at high speed into the track’s barriers, split in half and burst into flames. He is set to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

Further Reading

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP (Associated Press)

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Sports Digest: Hamilton sets track record in winning his 98th career Formula One pole

AUTO RACING

FORMULA ONE:  Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton set a track record at the Bahrain Grand Prix on his way to a record-extending 98th career pole position on Saturday in Sakhir, Bahrain.

The seven-time F1 champion looked in total control as he set a time of 1 minute, 27.264 seconds under the floodlights. He finished about .3 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and around .4 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

“We did some really good work overnight. I was really happy with the car from the get-go,” the veteran British driver said. “I just didn’t make any mistakes.”

Bottas thought he was closer to Hamilton’s time.

“I was quite surprised when I saw the gap,” the Finnish driver said. “I definitely have the speed but I haven’t quite got it all together yet.”

Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon was in fourth place and a full second behind Hamilton, who will bid for his record-extending 95th F1 win on Sunday.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Adrian Meronk clung on to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship as a couple of home players made big charges on Saturday at Malelane, South Africa.

Meronk went to 14 under par overall at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa with a 1-under 71 that included three birdies but also two bogeys.

Meronk has already made history here as the first Polish player to lead a European Tour event and is honing in on a maiden tour victory for himself and his country.

Jayden Schaper of South Africa made the biggest move with a 5-under 67 to go second on 13 under, and he saved the best for the end with an eagle and two birdies on his last four holes. Another home player, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is third on 11 under after a 68. He picked up all five of his birdies on the back nine.

OLYMPICS

TEST CANCELED: Another test event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics was called off Saturday, when bobsled and skeleton officials canceled plans to have a training week and World Cup race on a newly built track to end this year’s sliding season.

The decision comes just days after luge officials also canceled that sport’s season-ending World Cup and training week on the track built in Yanqing. The reason, in both cases, was the same: ongoing concerns about international travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China about a year ago.

In a letter sent to national federations Saturday, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation Secretary General Heike Groesswang said several weeks of conversations were held about how to move forward with the training week and World Cup “under the challenging circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic causes to all of us.”

The new schedule calls for a bobsled training week in early October and a skeleton training week later in October. That means many nations will likely have to choose some semblance of their 2021-22 national teams by the end

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Hamilton puts in record lap to take Bahrain pole

MANAMA (Reuters) – Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix with a record lap in Saturday’s qualifying session ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas who completed a front-row lockout for Mercedes.

The Briton lapped the 5.4-kilometre floodlit Sakhir desert track in one minute, 27.264 seconds, beating his Finnish team mate by 0.289 seconds.

Max Verstappen took third place for Red Bull.

It was the 98th pole of Hamilton’s career and puts him on course to complete a century, with the Bahrain race the first of a season-ending Middle Eastern triple-header.

It was his 10th pole this season and third in Bahrain, which puts him level with Sebastian Vettel as the most successful qualifier at the Sakhir track.

“I think with the pressure a little bit off it was a release to go and drive like that,” said Hamilton, who equalled Michael Schumacher’s record haul of seven championships at the last race, in Turkey.

“I am on the ragged edge, naturally, and it is about trying to find that perfect balance and chipping away.”

Alexander Albon recovered from his crash in Friday’s practice to go fourth-quickest. Running a new chassis, he will line up alongside team mate Verstappen on the second row of the grid.

Sergio Perez was fifth for Racing Point ahead of Renault pair Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, while Pierre Gasly was eighth for AlphaTauri ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Daniil Kvyat in the other AlphaTauri rounded out the top 10.

Ferrari, dominant in Bahrain last year when they locked out the top two spots in every session of practice and qualifying, failed to make it into the top 10 this time around. They will start with Vettel in 11th and Charles Leclerc 12th.

Lance Stroll, on pole in Turkey, was only 13th.

The hour-long session was interrupted by a brief halt after a spin for Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard’s McLaren appeared to suffer a locked rear axle under braking for the first corner, which left him stranded at the edge of the track.

Reporting by Abhishek Takle; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Lewis Hamilton delights in his 98th career pole at Bahrain F1 GP

Lewis Hamilton took pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix with an absolutely dominant series of laps at the Sakhir circuit. On top throughout qualifying, the world champion was almost untouchable. Finishing with a fine run at the sharp end he beat his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas into second. Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull with his teammate Alex Albon in fourth and Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez in fifth.



a close up of a fire truck: Photograph: Kamran Jebreili/EPA


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Photograph: Kamran Jebreili/EPA

Hamilton, who has two poles previously in Bahrain, once more found an immaculate touch here. He led throughout and when it really mattered stepped up to a level his rivals could not match. On his first hot run in Q3 he set a time of 1min 27.677sec, pushing his Mercedes to the limit with consummate control. He had more than a tenth on Verstappen and two-tenths over Bottas, who was in identical machinery.

On their final hot runs, Hamilton found even more. Wanting to stamp his authority on the session, the world champion’s confidence was clear as he went out first and laid down a marker to the rest of the field. He promptly went even quicker, fastest in every sector, and closed with a 1:27.264, four tenths up on his previous lap. Bottas made it Mercedes’ 11th front-row lockout in second but he was still two-tenths down, with Verstappen a full four-tenths behind. It was an object demonstration in why the world champion took the title this season with three races to spare.



a close up of a fire truck: Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes en route to taking pole for the Bahrain F1 GP.


© Photograph: Kamran Jebreili/EPA
Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes en route to taking pole for the Bahrain F1 GP.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were in sixth and seventh, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat in eighth and 1oth, with McLaren’s Lando Norris in ninth.

This is Hamilton’s 98th career pole, the most any driver has scored, and with two meetings remaining he still has the chance to be the first to make it to 100 this season. He is very much on a roll, having closed out his seventh world championship to match Michael Schumacher’s record with a remarkable win at the last round in Turkey.

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Lewis Hamilton breaks F1 wins record – plus five of his biggest career moments

Lewis Hamilton breaks F1 win record in PortugalGetty Images

Lewis Hamilton has been making history again

Lewis Hamilton went down in history on Sunday by smashing through Michael Schumacher’s all-time Formula 1 win record at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

He finished more than 25 seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton said on social media that breaking the record was beyond his wildest dreams.

In his 14-year F1 career, Hamilton has had loads of big moments and highlights – but here are five of the best ones…

Lewis Hamilton breaking winning F1 win recordGetty Images

No driver in history has won more races than Britain’s Lewis Hamilton

1. F1 win record

Lewis Hamilton has now won 92 races, 1 more than Michael Schumacher whose record he equalled earlier in October.

Schumacher set that record 14 years ago, and lots of people thought it would never be beaten.

But now people are talking about Hamilton taking the sport into new realms and winning 100 races!

Hamilton celebrates winning his sixth World Title in Mexico, 2019Getty Images

Hamilton won his sixth World Title in Mexico, 2019

2. Sixth World Title Win

In 2019 Lewis Hamilton won his sixth F1 World Championship – becoming the second-most successful driver of all time.

Only Michael Schumacher has won more – at seven.

Watch Lewis Hamilton talk to teenagers Teenagers Zionne, Isaiah and Mandi about how racism has affected them growing up in Young, Black and British – Hear Us: A Newsround Special.

Lewis Hamilton in 2008 after winning his first world title

Lewis Hamilton aged 23 after winning his first world title

3. First World Title

When Lewis Hamilton was just 23, he became the youngest ever F1 World Champion at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008.

After that win, his Dad said “this is the culmination of 16 years of hard work. Hopefully this will be an inspiration for other families and kids. When we started we had nothing, no money.”

He didn’t win another World title until 2014, but it was certainly worth the wait.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates 2014 World TitleGetty Images

Lewis Hamilton had to wait six years before becoming World Champion again

4. Most successful British driver

This is now a given considering he’s arguably the best driver of all time, but Lewis Hamilton is of course the most successful British driver in history too.

And that’s not an easy thing. There have been 10 British F1 World Champions – in fact, no other country has produced more World Champions than the UK.

To put it into perspective, the countries with the most World Champions after the UK are Brazil, Finland and Germany on three each.

Lewis Hamilton and his dogGetty Images

Hamilton and his dog, Roscoe, who was in Portugal to witness his record-breaking 92nd win

5. Seventh World Title win… and eighth?

The exciting thing is that Hamilton is on track to win his seventh World Championship title this season, which will fully cement his place in F1 history as the greatest of all time.

And he’ll also go into the 2021 season as a favourite to win his eighth World Championship too. That would mean surpassing Schumacher’s record of seven world titles… watch this space!

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Lewis Hamilton kickstarts music career with sexy songs



Lewis Hamilton wearing a suit and tie


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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has unveiled eight sexy songs that will appear on his debut album.

The Formula 1 star has shown off his wild side with his first foray into music, as he previewed eight songs – which talk about drinking too much, sleeping with women and pulling on a night out – to fans on Instagram Live after spending a decade working in the studio.

In one track, he sings: “I knew it from the moment you walked through the door, you the one.

“I only saw you one time baby, I want more. You can have your way if you treat me right, I’m sure.”

And in another, the champion driver adds: “All night I’ve been drinking way too much.

“This girl I’m leaving with ain’t come with us. So run that body by me once again. This time in my bed, I’m always on ten.”

Lewis also addresses heartbreak in the new tracks, which could have been written about Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger, after the pair split in 2015 following a seven-year on and off relationship.

He sings on the record: “Caught you lying, it’s like a sad song on the radio. Breaking my heart, I can’t let it go.”

And in another of the tracks – which are all currently untitled – Lewis unveils his plan for a quiet life with the woman of his dreams.

He sings: “Late in the night sipping the wine next to you. This is what I worked all my life to get to do. No care in the world, beautiful girl. All I want is trips to the islands and waking up in the morning.”

Meanwhile, Lewis – who featured on Christina Aguilera’s track ‘Pipe’ under the pseudonym XNDA – previously revealed his passion for making music when he built a studio in his home for Nicole.

Speaking earlier this year about his music project, the racing driver told fans on social media: “Guys, I’ve spent the last ten years or more writing and recording, working with some of the most talented and beautiful people, which I’m so grateful for. It’s been the most incredible outlet.

“I haven’t got a project or album, just a bunch of different songs that some of you will be able to ­connect to.

“They have helped me get through some of the most difficult times. At some stage I’m going to find a moment to share with you so bear with me.”

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