Sebastian Vettel was unable to compete in Bahrain’s first race of the 2022 season after testing positive for COVID-19 in the days running up to the event.
Sebastian Vettel’s comeback to the car is expected to be quick, but Aston Martin cannot promise his involvement in the next race of the season.
Due to a positive COVID-19 test, the four-time World Champion had to withdraw from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.
Vettel did not look to miss out on anything in the end, as neither Aston Martin was strong in Sakhir. Lance Stroll accomplished 12th, with Hulkenberg in 17th place at the final line.
Aston Martin is awaiting Vettel’s return
There are doubts about Vettel’s health as the F1 paddock heads straight to Saudi Arabia for round two this weekend.
“He was participating in the debrief,” Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com, after Sunday’s race in Bahrain.
“He was sounding less rough than he was sounding a couple of days ago, but we don’t know – we need to see how he goes for the next days.”
Krack added: “We hope that he will be back soon.”
Krack: It’s better to get it now than in Australia
Before returning to racing, Vettel will need to pass a COVID-19 test, which both Aston Martin and Formula 1 anticipate, according to Krack.
“Yes, [he needs a negative test]. It’s not only that; it’s also team protocol – a bit of both,” he commented.
“I’m not 100 per cent aware of how the Saudi regulations are, but I think if he has a negative test, it will be easy.”
Saudi Arabia has waived all COVID-19 entry criteria, allowing Vettel to visit the country provided he is healthy and ready.
Vettel’s bout with the virus came at an ideal time, according to Krack, because if he had tested positive after landing in Australia, he may have found himself on the other side of the world.
“[It’s] better to get it now than in two weeks’ time!” Krack summed up.
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F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel