Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel will miss Sunday’s 2022 Formula 1 season opener at the Bahrain GP after testing positive for COVID-19. 

The four-time world champion tested positive for the virus ahead with Practice 1 scheduled for Friday, and as a result will not be able to take part in Sunday’s race. 

Nico Hulkenberg will replace Vettel in the Aston Martin, having previously filled in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, after they both contracted the coronavirus in 2020. 

Hulkenberg himself, has not had a permanent seat in F1 since 2019. 

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

COVID-19 among F1 drivers

Daniel Ricciardo also tested positive for COVID-19 recently which ruled the Australian driver out of the final day of 2022 Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Ricciardo isn’t the first F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19. Lewis Hamilton fell ill ahead of the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, resulting in George Russell making his first appearance for Mercedes.

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll missed races at Silverstone and Nurburgring for Racing Point that same year, with Nico Hulkenberg stepping in for the pair.

Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc have all tested positive since the start of pandemic as well, though none have missed races.