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F1: No decision on Vettel’s return until Friday

Aston Martin will wait until the first day of practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix before confirming whether Sebastian Vettel will return.

The four-times world champion tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix which prevented him from taking part in the season-opener. Nico Hulkenberg substituted for him, finishing 17th and last of all drivers running at the chequered flag.

On the morning before practice is due to start at Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the second round of the world championship, Aston Martin confirmed Vettel is yet to return a negative test which would allow him to take part in the event.

“Sebastian Vettel has not yet returned the required negative Covid test to fly to the Saudi Arabia GP,” said the team in a statement. “Nico Hülkenberg 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.”

Should Vettel be unable to participate, he will become the second driver to miss multiple grands prix due to being positive for the virus. Kimi Raikkonen missed both the Dutch and Italian Grands Prix last season after the Alfa Romeo driver tested positive prior to the race at Zandvoort. He was replaced by Robert Kubica for both rounds.

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