Aston Martin are hopeful that Sebastian Vettel will be able to make a prompt return to the cockpit, but cannot yet guarantee his participation in the next race of the campaign.
The four-time World Champion was forced to sit out the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix due to a positive COVID-19 test, after which he returned home to Switzerland and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.
In the end, Vettel did not appear to miss too much, as neither Aston Martin proved competitive in Sakhir. Lance Stroll finished in 12th, with Hulkenberg down in 17th at the chequered flag.
Aston Martin waiting on Vettel's recovery
With the F1 paddock heading straight to Saudi Arabia for round two this weekend, there are questions marks over whether Vettel will be fit and ready.
"He was participating in the debrief," Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com, after Sunday's race in Bahrain.
"He was sounding less rough than he was sounding a couple of days ago, but we don't know – we need to see how he goes for the next days."
Krack added: "We hope that he will be back soon."
Krack: It's better to get it now than in Australia
Vettel will require a negative COVID-19 test before returning to action, with Krack explaining that this is expected by both Aston Martin and Formula 1.
"Yes, [he needs a negative test]. It's not only that; it's also team protocol – a bit of both," he commented.
"I'm not 100 per cent aware of how the Saudi regulations are, but I think if he has a negative test, it will be easy."
Saudi Arabia has lifted all COVID-19 entry requirements, meaning Vettel will be able to travel to the country if he is fit and ready to return.
Krack pointed out that the timing of Vettel's bout with the virus was actually quite good, given that he could have found himself on the opposite side of the globe had he tested positive after arriving in Australia.
"[It's] better to get it now than in two weeks' time!" Krack summed up.
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