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Ricciardo cleared for F1 return

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo will race in this weekend’s Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix after sitting out the final pre-season test last week.

Ricciardo felt unwell and ultimately returned a positive COVID-19 result, placing his participation at this weekend’s season opening in jeopardy.

McLaren has now confirmed that the Australian has since returned a negative test result for coronavirus, and will thus his place alongside Lando Norris in Sakhir.

“McLaren F1 Team confirms that after testing positive for covid-19 during last week, Daniel has now returned a number of negative tests and will therefore return to the paddock on Thursday ready to compete in this weekend’s Bahrain GP,” a statement from the team confirmed.

“Daniel has been feeling better each day as he continued to recover while in isolation following local regulations in Bahrain.”

Without a reserve driver in its roster, speculation swirled as to who might fill the void for Ricciardo should he be unable to race.

Paul Di Resta, Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne, and even Oscar Piastri after Alpine and McLaren reached a deal for the use of the young Aussie.

While not required this weekend, Piastri could still get the call up for McLaren should Ricciardo or Norris be unable to race at any point during the year.

The Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway on Friday, with Practice 1 starting from 23:00 AEDT.

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