Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton has been ruled out of the upcoming event at the Bahrain International Circuit after returning multiple positive COVID-19 test results on Monday.
The British driver is now self-isolating in Bahrain as per the required protocols, with Mercedes set to announce his replacement for the weekend “in due course”.
It will mark the first race Hamilton has missed since making his F1 debut at the start of 2007. He is the third driver to miss a race through illness this season after Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll missed events earlier in the year.
How Hamilton contracted the virus has not been revealed, but it is understood that the world champion has not deviated from the strict protocols that he has lived under all season.
After the Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton returned to his home in Monaco as per normal, and ahead of the Bahrain GP he travelled to Dubai.
There, he spent some time with his family, who had all been tested before travelling and returned negative tests, as well as making a personal appearance at an event.
He left Dubai for Bahrain, where he had three further tests that all returned negative before it was confirmed on Tuesday he had contracted the virus.
Hamilton took to social media to express his sadness that he would be missing the race in Bahrain, but was thankful he was only dealing with mild symptoms.
“I’m devastated that I won’t be racing this weekend,” Hamilton wrote.
“Since we started the season in June, my team and I have been taking all the precautions we possibly can and following the regulations everywhere in order to stay safe.
“Unfortunately, even though I returned three negative results this past week, I woke up yesterday morning with mild symptoms and requested another test which came back positive.
“I’ve immediately gone into self-isolation for 10 days.
“I’m gutted not to be able to race this weekend but my priority is to follow the protocols and advice to protect others.
“I’m really lucky that I feel OK with only mild symptoms and will do my best to stay fit and healthy.
“Please look after yourselves out there. You can never be too careful. These are worrying times for everyone and we need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and each other. Stay positive.”
It is unclear whether Hamilton will be able to return for the season finale in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time.
He is required to self-isolate for 10 days, taking him up to next Thursday, and must then return a negative test result in order to enter the paddock for the race weekend starting on Friday.