German driver Sebastian Vettel also misses the second race of the season, the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, due to a corona infection. His compatriot Nico Hulkenberg replaces Vettel, just like last week in Bahrain, at Aston Martin Cognizant. “We expect Sebastian to be fit for the Australian GP,” the team said.
Four-time world champion Vettel (34) tested positive for the corona virus before the opening race in Bahrain last week. Aston Martin then called up reserve driver Hulkenberg as a replacement. The German did not get further than seventeenth and last place on the Sakhir circuit.
Aston Martin expressed the hope on Thursday that Vettel would test negative and then fly from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, but on Friday morning the race stable reported that this was unsuccessful. “Nico Hulkenberg will do the practice, qualifying and race with Lance Stroll,” said Aston Martin. On Friday, two free practice sessions on the Jeddah circuit are scheduled. Vettel hopes to start his season in Australia on April 10.
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