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Sebastian Vettel out of Bahrain Grand Prix after positive Covid-19 test

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin. Photo/Sky Sports
  • Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel will miss the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday
  • It is the first race of the season coming after a controversy-ridden 2021 season
  • Nico Hulkenberg will be taking his place

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel will miss the Bahrain Grand Prix season opener race on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Nico Hulkenberg will be taking his place. Hulkenberg a reserve driver for Aston Martin has not been a full-time F1 driver since 2019, but he has filled in for others.

In 2020, the German made three appearances as a replacement for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, who both missed races due to coronavirus.

However, Vettel could still compete on Sunday if he tests negative for COVID-19. The season’s second race will take place on March 27 in Saudi Arabia.

Vettel in February stated that he will not race in Russia as a result of the country’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel. Photo/Sky Sports

He misses out on the action as FIA bosses introduced a new rule on overtaking lapped cars and safety cars.

A new rule has been put in place to make sure there won’t be any more chaotic scenes like this in the future.

According to Express UK, the new rule states that any lapped cars must be able to pass the lead car and the safety car, and not just some of them.

This rule was informed by race director Michael Masi’s decision on lapped cars that denied Lewis Hamilton victory in the last Grand Prix of the season.

The Mercedes driver missed out on the 2021 title in a controversial way at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was after race director Michael Masi controversially handled lapped cars.

A few laps before the race was over, Nicholas Latifi had a crash prompting the deployment of a safety car that ended up bunching up all cars.

Masi who was the race director told the cars that were a lap behind the others that they couldn’t overtake.

People who were racing behind a safety car didn’t really show where they were in the race.

When the yellow flags first flew, there were five cars between race leader Hamilton and second-placed Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

It later turned out that Masi made a mistake. He told the five drivers who were behind the crashed car to move past the safety car.

Two cars behind Verstappen and one back in the pack were not allowed to overtake each other. They were instead forced to stay in their places.

Masi then started the race again for the last lap, even though the cars that had been lapped were still where they were.

Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel. Photo/The Independent

Two cars behind Verstappen and one back in the pack were not allowed to overtake each other.

They were instead forced to stay in their spots. Masi then restarted the race for the last lap, even though the cars that had been lapped were still where they were when he started.

Masi’s error in judgment as his decision made Verstappen reduce the gap on Hamilton after Masi instructed the lapped cars to let go of each other.

The Red Bull driver passed Hamilton on the final lap after switching to fresh tyres.

Mercedes was angered by the move which led to widespread condemnation by fans, triggering an investigation by FIA.

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