Runaway standings leader Hamilton’s remarkable run of 265 consecutive race starts, stretching back to his Formula 1 debut in 2007, will end on Sunday after he entered self-isolation as a result of two positive tests following his victory at the same circuit in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Mercedes announced that a replacement for their superstar would be revealed imminently, with many fans joking that the chances of a rare victory for teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is trailing Hamilton by a chasmic 131 points and has won only two races all season, had been enhanced.

Others worried that Hamilton had been dangerously close to rivals Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon as they took the plaudits for sealing the top three spots at the weekend.

“Hamilton was quite close to Verstappen and Albon on that podium,” pointed out one, while another jibed: “Finally, it pays off for Bottas to never be too close to Hamilton.”

Speculation mounted around how Hamilton had been infected. “If he hasn’t left Bahrain, he got either got it there, from his team, or came in with it undetected and possibly infected his side of the garage,” said one supporter. “Bigger fallout than just Lewis, surely?”

Sergio Perez, who became the first driver to test positive before Lance Stroll followed suit earlier this season, was rumored to have caught the disease from a chef in Europe ahead of his withdrawal from the British Grand Prix in August.

Hamilton was involved in a public row earlier this year when he shared an Instagram post that appeared to call Microsoft magnate Bill Gates a liar over his support of vaccines.

Gates spoke about baseless conspiracy theories that vaccines are a way of microchipping people in the clip, which Hamilton later deleted on his platform which has more than 21 million followers.

The Briton claimed he had not seen a comment attached to the video, emphasized his “respect” for the businessman’s charity work and said he had “no doubt” that a vaccine would be “important in the fight against coronavirus”, although he voiced concerns about potential side effects and funding.

“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well,” Mercedes said in their statement. “The entire team sends him our very best wishes for a swift recovery.”

Hamilton’s success streak includes 48 consecutive race, points and classified finishes, but he will now have to return a negative test to returning to action, which could rule him out of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on December 13.

The 35-year-old will also be unable to match the record of 13 race wins in a season, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004.

Fans anxious that the race was in jeopardy as a result of the news were reassured by reminders that Perez’s diagnosis did not result in any further positive results before the subsequent showpiece went ahead.

“As much as I love Hamilton, it will be really good to see everyone else get a chance at [winning a place on the] podium this week,” said one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Mourinho: ‘I’m going to break the rules to give him a hug’

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho says he will have no problems ditching the elbow-bump in order to hug Carlo Ancelotti on Monday night. Spurs host Everton in a vital fixture in the race for European qualification which sees two of…

2020 Tour de France schedule: Dates, route, how to watch, and more

The 2020 Tour de France begins on Saturday, August 29 through September 20. The three-week long event was originally scheduled to take place from June 27 to July 19 but was postponed because of the pandemic. This year marks the…

POLEAXED: Bareknuckle boxer takes SICKENING uppercut while UNCONSCIOUS before being stretchered out against ‘Polish Tyson’ (VIDEO)

Zaluska was unconscious following a vicious early shot inside the first 30 seconds of his scrap with fearsome opponent Krystian Kuzma – known as Tyson because of his squat, muscular physique and savage knockout power – when he copped a shuddering uppercut…

Analyzing Everton’s first PL defeat

SOUTHAMPTON — What we learned about Everton on Sunday at St Mary’s was that the early-season hype was perhaps a little misplaced. Their 2-0 defeat at Southampton showed up all of their problems in one error-strewn 90 minutes. [ MORE: How…