Following George Russell’s immense disappointment after yesterday’s Sakhir Grand Prix, many in the paddock and the broader F1 community are hoping that Russell will have another chance to prove himself in a Mercedes.
Russell’s next opportunity with the Silver Arrows could come at the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend, but this is contingent on Lewis Hamilton’s health.
Hamilton, who sealed the 2020 F1 Championship several races ago, tested positive for coronavirus last Monday, and his absence from the Sakhir GP paved the way for George Russell to make his Mercedes debut.
Speaking after the thrilling race, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed that they will run Lewis Hamilton in the season finale is he’s fit.
Otherwise, Russell will once again fill in for the seven-time World Champion.
“Well I think we still need to see how Lewis recovers. That is the most important thing: that he is well,” Wolff said in a post-race interview with Sky Sports F1.
The Austrian added that Hamilton has made a “big step” towards recovery from COVID-19.
“He said that he felt a bit better today [Sunday] and feels like he has made a big step. So if the test is negative then it’s his car and for sure will then drive a brilliant race.
“But if the test is positive then it will be George in the car,” he added.
Meanwhile, FIA race director Michael Masi has said that Hamilton’s eligibility to race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be contingent on him complying with the laws and coronavirus protocols outlined by the Bahraini and UAE governments.
“Obviously the main part with all of this has always been complying with the respective governments, laws and regulations,” Masi said.
“So it’s very much a decision for the Bahraini health authorities to determine if Lewis is fit and complies with their regulations, and then further for the Abu Dhabi authorities to determine their criteria,” he added.
Masi also stressed that Lewis Hamilton will need to take part in at least one practice session or qualifying to be able to compete in the race.