Sebastian Vettel out of the Saudi Arabian GP as Aston Martin reveal when he will return post-Covid
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has been ruled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend as his bout of Covid-19 continues.
The four-time world champion missed out on the season opener with Aston Martin in Bahrain after testing positive for the virus, and it seems his antigen tests have yet to clear.
Nico Hulkenberg took his seat in Bahrain and will once again jump behind the wheel of the AMR22 as the team fights for its first points of the season.
Last time out, Lance Stroll finished in P12 while Hulkenberg fell further down the order during the race and crossed the line in 17th.
Aston Martin said on Thursday they would delay their decision on Vettel until Friday to “provide Seb every opportunity to race”, but to no avail.
The UK-based team expects Vettel to be back fighting fit for the third round of the season, in Australia on April 10.
A statement released by Aston Martin this afternoon read: “Nico Hulkenberg will practice, qualify and race alongside Lance Stroll. Despite lack of mileage in the Aston Martin R22, Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah.
“We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the Australian Grand Prix.”
As Nico prepares to race once more for the Aston Martin team, he reflected on his first jaunt in the car last week and told the official Formula One website: “It was interesting. It was difficult, very difficult to be honest, first time [racing] obviously in a long, long time.
“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.”
Proceedings kick off this afternoon with FP1 at 2:00 pm followed by FP2 at 5:00 pm at the Jeddah Corniche Stree Circuit.