Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel to miss Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to Covid-19

Nico Hulkenberg to step in at Aston Martin for second straight race with Sebastian Vettel yet to recover from Covid-19; Vettel missed season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive; watch Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last Updated: 25/03/22 8:34am

Sebastian Vettel will miss the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix having already missed the Bahrain race due to Covid

Sebastian Vettel will miss this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to Covid-19 with Nico Hulkenberg to drive for Aston Martin in his place once again.

Four-time world champion Vettel sat out last week’s season opener in Bahrain after testing positive, with fellow German Hulkenberg taking his spot on the grid.

With Vettel yet to recover, Hulkenberg, who finished 17th in Bahrain in a race won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, will now step in once more, starting at Practice 1 from 1.30pm live on Sky Sports F1.

Aston Martin hope Vettel will be back for the Australian Grand Prix on April 10

Aston Martin hope Vettel will be back for the Australian Grand Prix on April 10

Aston Martin said on Thursday they would delay their decision on Vettel until Friday to “provide Seb every opportunity to race”.

Vettel expected to return in Australia

The British team expect Vettel, 34, to be fit for the third round of the campaign, in Australia on April 10.

An Aston Martin statement read: “Nico Hulkenberg will practice, qualify and race alongside Lance Stroll. Despite lack of mileage in the Aston Martin R22, Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah.

“We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the Australian Grand Prix.”

Simon Lazenby is joined by Johnny Herbert and Paul Di Resta to look ahead to the Saudi Arabian GP

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Simon Lazenby is joined by Johnny Herbert and Paul Di Resta to look ahead to the Saudi Arabian GP

Simon Lazenby is joined by Johnny Herbert and Paul Di Resta to look ahead to the Saudi Arabian GP

Hulkenberg is no stranger to late call-ups having filled in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll with Racing Point in 2020.

His latest substitute appearance, though, has come with the asterisk of new regulations and car changes that have seemingly opened up the drivers’ championship.

“It was interesting. It was difficult, very difficult to be honest, first time [racing] obviously in a long, long time,” he told the official F1 website, reflecting on the season opener.

“There’s so many things happening in the race, it’s so dynamic, the car balance is changing, the fuel load is changing, so it’s difficult to keep up with all these changes and stay on top of things.”

F1 set for thrilling street fight as Ferrari lead chasing pack

The Jeddah Corniche street race – which had a chaotic F1 debut last year – hosts the second race of the 2022 season with Ferrari looking to build on a strong start.

The Italian giants appear to have aced the rules overhaul with their new car, recording a one-two in Bahrain with Carlos Sainz finishing behind race-winning team-mate Leclerc.

Max Verstappen discusses the engine issues that saw him retire from the Bahrain GP. Watch the full interview in our coverage across the Saudi Arabian GP weekend

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Max Verstappen discusses the engine issues that saw him retire from the Bahrain GP. Watch the full interview in our coverage across the Saudi Arabian GP weekend

Max Verstappen discusses the engine issues that saw him retire from the Bahrain GP. Watch the full interview in our coverage across the Saudi Arabian GP weekend

Ferrari ended the second-longest victory drought in their illustrious history at 45 races to endorse their credentials as title contenders, although their main rivals have plenty of motivation to bounce back this weekend.

Neither reigning world champion Max Verstappen nor Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez finished the race, while Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell placed third and fourth respectively.

The Formula 1 season continues on Friday on Sky Sports F1 with the Saudi Arabian GP. Sunday’s race starts at 6pm. Find out more & subscribe.

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