Lewis Hamilton breaks silence after coronavirus rules him out of Sakhir GP

Lewis Hamilton says he's "devastated" to miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive for coronavirus.

Hamilton's Mercedes team said Hamilton, 35, reported "mild symptoms" on the morning following Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix where he claimed his 11th win of the season.

The Briton, who secured his seventh Formula One world championship in Turkey last month, is now in isolation after his positive result was announced on Tuesday morning.

He will have to isolate in his hotel room for 10 days, putting in doubt his participation at the season finale in Abu Dhabi a week on Sunday.

Hamilton released a statement on Tuesday and said: “Hi guys. I’m devastated that I won’t be racing this weekend.

“Since we started the season in June, my team and I have been taking all the precautions we possibly can and following the regulations everywhere we’ve been in order to stay safe.

“Unfortunately, even though I returned three negative results this past week, I woke up yesterday morning with mild symptoms and requested another test which came back positive.

“I've immediately gone into self-isolation 10 days.

“I’m gutted not to be able to race this weekend but my priority is to follow the protocols and advice to protect others.

“I’m really lucky that I feel OK with only mild symptoms and will do my best to stay fit and healthy.

“Please look after yourselves out there, you can never be too careful.

“These are worrying times for everyone and we need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and each other. Stay positive.”

An F1 statement added: "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.

"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."

By missing Sakhir, the penultimate race on the calendar, Hamilton will not be able to match the record for the most wins in a single season.

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel share that mark with 13 — Schumacher from 18 races in 2004 and Vettel from 19 in 2013.

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