Mazepin ruled out of Abu Dhabi F1 GP after positive COVID-19 test

Nikita Mazepin has been ruled out of Sunday’s Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for COVID-19.

Haas announced five hours before the start of Sunday’s race at the Yas Marina Circuit that Mazepin would not be taking part following his positive result.

“Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” a statement from Haas reads.

“The team therefore regrets to announce that Nikita will be unable to participate in the race.

“Nikita is physically well, having been asymptomatic, but he will now self-isolate and adhere to the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for all parties concerned.

“Uralkali Haas F1 Team wish Nikita well and we look forward to his return to the race track in early 2022 for pre-season testing.”

As Mazepin has already qualified for the event, Haas is unable to replace him for the race, meaning Mick Schumacher will solely represent the team in Abu Dhabi.

“There will be no replacement driver in accordance with article 31.1 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, which prohibits any driver from starting the race who has not taken part in at least one practice session,” reads a statement from F1.

“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

Mazepin is the second Formula 1 driver to have tested positive for COVID-19 this season. Kimi Raikkonen tested positive over the Dutch Grand Prix weekend, meaning he could not take part in qualifying or the race.

It brings an early end to Mazepin’s first season in F1 that has seen him record a best race finish of 14th in Azerbaijan.

Reviewing his first season in F1 on Saturday during a media call, Mazepin said he would rate his campaign with a 4/5 score.

"I guess four for sticking through it, because times were really tough this year in certain points,” Mazepin said.

“Let's say, probably a three for adaptation, because that's hasn't been my strong point, and I keep improving on it.”

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