F1 champ Lewis Hamilton has COVID-19

The seven-time Formula One World Champion will miss the series' next race while in quarantine.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
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Lewis Hamilton, F1 World Champion fist raised
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Lewis Hamilton, F1 World Champion fist raised

Lewis Hamilton has long been one of Formula One's most durable and consistent drivers.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The reigning Formula One World Champion will miss next weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain according to the series organizers at the FIA.

As confirmed by a statement posted on Twitter by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team on Tuesday (below), Hamilton has only "mild symptoms," but at least two tests on Monday confirmed the diagnosis. The seven-time F1 series champion was tested three times last week, including a negative test on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain GP, a race Hamilton went on to win.

Hamilton is now "isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines," the team said. According to a statement attributed to Hamilton himself, the 35-year-old driver will be in "self-isolation for 10 days." The news means that a number of Hamilton's longevity records are set to go by the wayside. Hamilton has been an extraordinarily durable and consistent presence on Sundays, having not missed a race day since 2007.

As noted on Twitter by F1 series presenter Will Buxton, it's possible Hamilton will not be able to return for the Abu Dhabi GP scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13 due to strict local quarantine regulations, so it's also possible Lewis has raced for the last time this season. Good thing he's already nailed down this year's championship.

News of the diagnosis has sent the F1 world into a fervor of speculation as to who will replace Hamilton for the Sakhir GP. The team says it will determine who will race alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas soon.