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Sebastian Vettel tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Bahrain GP; Aston Martin announces replacement for F1 2022 season opener

The four-time champion has been ruled out of the Bahrain Grand Prix set to take place this weekend.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 17 March 2022 3:31 pm

In a huge setback for Aston Martin ahead of F1 2022 season opener, their star driver Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the four-time champion has been ruled out of the Bahrain Grand Prix set to take place this weekend. Notably, Vettel will be replaced by team’s reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg.

“UPDATE: Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore not be taking part in the 2022 #BahrainGP. Replacing him in the AMR22 will be Reserve Driver @HulkHulkenberg, who will be in the car from FP1 onwards,” Aston Marin confirmed in an official statement. 

Germany driver Nico returns to F1 after 1.5 years

Vettel is the second driver to have contracted the virus ahead of this weekend’s race after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. However, the Aussie has now returned with few negative tests and is set to return for the race in Bahrain.

Talking about Vettel’s replacement, it must be noted that it will be Hulkenberg’s first race since the Eifel Grand Prix in October 2020. At that time, he had come in as replacement of Lance Stroll who had tested positive for coronavirus. During that year, the German had participated in two more races at Silverstone, filling in for Sergio Perez.

Hulkenberg – The super sub of Aston Martin

With his impressive performance in those races, Hulkenberg was given the title of ‘super-sub’ with hashtag #Hulkenback also becoming a popular trend on social media whenever the German is back in F1 for a Grand Prix.

Without a doubt, the Formula One fans would be hoping for two things this weekend: a speedy recovery for Sebastian Vettel and another impressive performance by Nico Hulkenberg as both the German drivers are two of the most beloved characters in the F1 fraternity.

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