Daniel Ricciardo optimistic COVID-19 won’t disrupt his season start

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has tested positive for COVID-19 but the Australian will be out of isolation in time for next week’s Bahrain season-opener, the Formula One team said.

The 32-year-old had felt unwell since Wednesday, and missed testing at the Sakhir circuit on Thursday and Friday, but the team said in a statement their 2021 Italian GP winner was already on the mend.

They added that Ricciardo would continue to isolate in accordance with local regulations.

“Under these regulations Daniel will be released in time for next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Daniel is already beginning to feel better, and we wish him well for a quick recovery.”

Daniel Ricciardo (right) with fellow drive Max Verstappen of the Netherlands

Daniel Ricciardo (right) with fellow drive Max Verstappen of the NetherlandsCredit:Getty Images

Practice for the opening race is next Friday and Ricciardo will go into it without having driven the car since Barcelona on February 24.

British team mate Lando Norris, 22, tested in Ricciardo’s absence and will be back in the car for the final day on Saturday.

“Better this week than next,” said Ricciardo on Twitter. “Unfortunate to miss the test, but I’m starting to feel better. I’ll stay isolated and just focus on next weekend.

“Big thanks to Lando & McLaren for the heavy lifting, I owe you some beers (milk for Lando).”

Bahrain is something of a home race for McLaren, with the team majority owned by the Gulf kingdom’s sovereign investment fund Mumtalakat. Ricciardo finished seventh last year with Norris fourth.


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