FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 24, 2022 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel wears a protective face mask during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

March 24, 2022

(Reuters) -Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has yet to return a negative test for COVID-19 that will allow him to travel for this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Formula One Grand Prix, the team said on Thursday.

The four-times world champion missed the season opener in Bahrain last weekend after testing positive, with reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg replacing him. [nL2N2VK0N5]

Aston Martin said Hulkenberg would be on standby for the race in Jeddah.

“Sebastian Vettel has not yet returned the required negative COVID test to fly to the #SaudiArabiaGP,” Aston Martin said on Twitter.

“Nico Hulkenberg will be in Jeddah to deputise for Seb if necessary. We will delay our final decision until Friday to provide Seb every opportunity to race.”

Hulkenberg finished 17th in Bahrain, while Lance Stroll was 12th.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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