Sebastian Vettel a doubt for Saudi Arabia Grand Prix as he awaits negative COVID test

Nico Hulkenberg in line to replace Sebastian Vettel for Aston Martin again as the four-time world champion continues his wait for a negative Covid test; watch Saudi Arabia Grand Prix live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last Updated: 24/03/22 8:39 am

Sebastian Vettel missed the opening Grand Prix of the season

Sebastian Vettel missed the opening Grand Prix of the season

Sebastian Vettel is still waiting to return a negative Covid-19 test and so can not yet travel to Saudi Arabia for this weekend’s Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion was forced to miss the first race of the season in Bahrain after testing positive, with Aston Martin reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg taking his place on the grid.

Hulkenberg, who finished 17th, is now in line to race for the second straight week.

“Sebastian Vettel has not yet returned the required negative COVID test to fly to the #SaudiArabiaGP,” the Aston Martin F1 team said on Twitter.

“Nico Hulkenberg will be in Jeddah to deputize for Seb if necessary. We will delay our final decision until Friday to provide Seb every opportunity to race.”

Highlights of the opening race of the 2022 season from Bahrain.

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Highlights of the opening race of the 2022 season from Bahrain.

Highlights of the opening race of the 2022 season from Bahrain.

Hulkenberg is now stranger to late call-ups having filled in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll with Racing Point in 2020.

His latest substitute appearance, though, has come with the asterisk of new regulations and car changes that have seemingly opened up the driver’s championship.

“It was interesting. It was difficult, very difficult to be honest, first time [racing] obviously in a long, long time, “he told the official F1 website, reflecting on the season opener.

“There’s so many things happening in the race, it’s so dynamic, the car balance is changing, the fuel load is changing, so it’s difficult to keep up with all these changes and stay on top of things.”

The Formula 1 season continues on Friday on Sky Sports F1 with the Saudi Arabian GP. Sunday’s race starts at 6pm. Find out more & subscribe.

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