The seven-time Formula One world champion is in isolation after his positive result was announced on Tuesday morning and will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain this weekend.
An F1 statement said: ‘The FIA, Formula One and Mercedes Team can today confirm that during mandatory pre-race PRC testing for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19.
Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for coronavirus days after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix
Hamilton has had mild symptoms since Monday and has returned two positive tests
‘In accordance with Covid-19 protocols, he is now isolating. All contacts have been declared. The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula One will ensure no wider impact on this weekend’s event.’
The 35-year-old Hamilton came down with mild symptoms on Monday morning and has returned two positive tests since.
The F1 statement continued, saying: ‘Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.
‘However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to his arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.
Hamilton was tested three times around last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix – all were negative
Hamilton is the third Formula One driver to have tested positive for Covid-19
‘Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.’
Mercedes added: ‘Lewis is now isolating in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.
‘Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery.’
Hamilton, who wrapped up his record-equalling seventh world championship in Turkey last month, is the third driver to have contracted the illness.
Sergio Perez missed the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix at Silverstone in August, while his Racing Point team-mate Lance Stroll also tested positive following October’s Eifel Grand Prix in Germany.
Hamilton won this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, his 11th triumph of 2020, in a race that will be better remembered for Romain Grosjean’s remarkable escape from his fireball inferno.
His positive test and withdrawal means that he will miss out on matching Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s joint record for the most number of victories in a year – which he could have managed by winning the final two rounds in Bahrain next Sunday and at the season-decider in Abu Dhabi on December 13.