Vettel misses F1 season-opener due to coronavirus, Hülkenberg deputizes
Former world champion Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the weekend's Formula One season-opener in Bahrain, reported dpa.
Vettel's Aston Martin team said on Thursday that four-time champ Vettel would be replaced by their fellow-German reserve driver Nico Hülkenberg in Sakhir.
The race weekend starts Friday with free practice, qualifying is Saturday and the race Sunday.
Hülkenberg in the past raced for the team formerly known as Force India and Racing Point but got no new contract after the 2019 season at Renault.
He has since been a reserve driver, standing in twice at Racing Point for Sergio Perez in 2020 and once for Lance Stroll the same year when the two were sidelined with Covid-19. The Eifel Grand Prix in place of Stroll was his last race to date.
While Vettel misses the season-opener, McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has returned in time from a Covid infection which made him miss last week's pre-season tests on the same Bahrain International Circuit.