Mazepin tests positive for Covid - sidelined from Abu Dhabi GP!

© XPB 

Nikita Mazepin won't be taking part in Formula 1's season finale in Abu Dhabi, the Haas driver testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of Sunday's race.

“Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” a statement from Haas reads.

“The team therefore regrets to announce that Nikita will be unable to participate in the race.

“Nikita is physically well, having been asymptomatic, but he will now self-isolate and adhere to the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for all parties concerned.

“Uralkali Haas F1 Team wish Nikita well and we look forward to his return to the race track in early 2022 for pre-season testing.”

In accordance with article 31.1 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, which prohibits any driver from starting the race who has not taken part in at least one practice session, Haas cannot rely on its official reserve driver, Pietro Fittipaldi, as Mazepin's replacement.

Mick Schumacher will therefore be the team's sole representative on the grid on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1 has stated that "the procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix".

While members of the paddock have tested positive for Covid this season, including Williams chief executive Jost Capito who was absent from last weekend's Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, Mazepin is the first driver this year to test positive.

In 2020, Racing Point's Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton were all sidelined for a race – or two races in Perez's case.

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