George Russell will not get the chance for a shot at redemption in Abu Dhabi this weekend after world champion Lewis Hamilton was declared fit to race, following one race off whilst recovering from Covid-19.
Hamilton will thus reclaim his Mercedes seat, with Russell – who’d filled the Briton’s seat so well at the Sakhir Grand Prix – returning to Williams and Jack Aitken thrust back into reserve duties for the Grove-based team.
The FIA, Formula 1 and Mercedes confirmed that Hamilton had passed a number of negative Covid-19 tests after completing a 10-day quarantine period in Bahrain. He has already arrived in Abu Dhabi where he tested negative a further time – a requirement before gaining access to the F1 paddock.
With Hamilton’s situation unclear earlier in the day, Russell and Aitken had gone through pre-race preparations with Mercedes and Williams respectively, with both keen to prolong their temporary positions. However, Hamilton now returns looking to end a historic season for himself on a high, with a 12th victory of the year in his sights at a track he’s won at five times previously.