Sebastian Vettel has been ruled out of the opening F1 race in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Aston Martin driver will be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for Bahrain GP to partner Lance Stroll, his team has announced.
Vettel is the fifth driver to miss at least one race thanks to COVID-19 since the start of 2020.
Hulkenberg made his last F1 start in 2020 for the same team, when it was known as Racing Point, as a substitute for his now partner Lance Stroll in the Eifel Grand Prix. He also drove for the team earlier in the year as a substitute for Sergio Perez in two races. On both occasions, the drivers had tested positive for Covid-19.
It marks a return for the driver who competed in 179 races for Williams, Sauber, and Racing Point, including when the latter was previously known as Force India.
In the absence of the four-time World Champion, Aston Martin will surely design their race strategy to prioritize the Canadian over Hulkenberg.
Aston Martin will be hoping that Sebastian Vettel returns just as quickly as Daniel Ricciardo who will return to the competition for McLaren this weekend having missed the final pre-season test after testing positive for Covid-19.