After Daniel Ricciardo, who in the meantime has been negativized, thus returning to McLaren’s disposal for the first race weekend of the season, Sebastian Vettel’s positivity to Coronavirus was made official yesterday .
The Aston Martin German therefore had to give up the inaugural round of the 2022 Formula One World Championship, scheduled in Sakhir from today (with the first free practice) to Sunday 20 March (with the actual race). The Silverstone-based team wasted no time, immediately announcing its replacement for the weekend in Bahrain.
It will be Nico Hulkenberg who will take the place of compatriot Vettel at the wheel of the AMR22 at the first official event of the new championship, without ever having run on the track with the new ground effect car as part of an official test session.
A very complex seasonal debut is therefore looming for the 34-year-old Teutonic, Aston Martin reserve driver who has already had the opportunity to accumulate many kilometers in the simulator in the development process of the new British car.
Hulkenberg, who had his last season as a starter in Formula One in 2019, had already been called into question by Racing Point for the same reason (positive Covid first of Sergio Perez and then of Lance Stroll) on the occasion of three stages of the World 2020.