Having missed the opening two days of running, Daniel Ricciardo will miss the final day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Australian had been feeling unwell coming into the test and the McLaren F1 Team opted to put Lando Norris in the car for both Thursday and Friday’s running.
He has been doing regular coronavirus tests and was coming up negative, only to come up positive on Friday evening. This means Norris will remain in the car again on Saturday, the final day of pre-season testing.
Ricciardo is expected to be fit and ready for next weekend’s opening round of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the team already confirming he is beginning to show signs of feeling better. He will go into the race weekend on the back foot though as he has not completed any laps this week.
“McLaren Racing can confirm that after feeling unwell from Wednesday onwards in Bahrain, Daniel Ricciardo has now returned a positive PCR test for covid-19,” read a statement on Friday. “Daniel is therefore continuing to isolate in accordance with local regulations.
“Under these regulations Daniel will be released in time for next weekend’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Daniel is already beginning to feel better, and we wish him well for a quick recovery.
“Following this, we can confirm that Lando Norris will remain in the MCL36 for the final day of the official pre-season test in Bahrain tomorrow.”
Should Ricciardo not be fit enough to race, the team will need to select a replacement driver for the Bahrain Grand Prix. McLaren has not previously announced any reserve driver for the 2022 season to date, but in the past have been given assurances to use Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s reserve drivers, which include ex-McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne and ex-McLaren junior Nyck de Vries.