Sebastian Vettel’s presence in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend is uncertain because he has yet to test negative for COVID-19.
Four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel is increasingly set to miss a second straight race to begin his 2022 Formula 1 season. This is because he is yet to test negative for COVID-19 and go to Saudi Arabia for the race this weekend, according to his Aston Martin team.
Vettel was forced to skip the season opener in Bahrain last weekend after testing positive for the infection, and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg. In Bahrain, Hulkenberg finished 17th.
Nico Hulkenberg, who filled in for his colleague in Bahrain last time out, is flying to Jeddah to be on standby for the race.
“Sebastian Vettel has not yet returned the required negative COVID test to fly to the Saudi Arabia GP,” a statement from Aston Martin read.
“Nico Hülkenberg will be in Jeddah to deputise for Seb if necessary.”
“We will delay our final decision until Friday to provide Seb every opportunity to race.”
Vettel tested positive for the virus in the lead-up to the season opener last weekend, prompting Aston Martin to call on reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg adapted swiftly and outqualified teammate Lance Stroll despite having no real-world experience with the AMR22 and only being called up on Thursday.
Following Aston Martin’s recent update, Hulkenberg stated that he would be willing to stand in again if needed, and that might very well be the case, even if only for Friday’s pair of practice sessions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Vettel would have till Saturday’s qualifying session to go into the cockpit of his car if he can return the needed negative test and make the journey to Saudi Arabia.