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Lewis Hamilton hopeful of returning for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton hopeful of returning for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
© Reuters
Lewis Hamilton missed last Sunday's penultimate round in Bahrain after contracting coronavirus while on holiday in Dubai.

Lewis Hamilton says he is hopeful he will be able to complete his world championship-winning season at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 35, missed last Sunday's penultimate round in Bahrain after contracting coronavirus while on holiday in Dubai.

The seven-time world champion posted a video on Tuesday, saying: "I know I've not been in touch this past week but it's definitely been one of the hardest weeks that I've had for some time.

"I've just been focusing on recovering and trying to get back in shape so I can get back in the car and race in Abu Dhabi.

"I woke up today feeling great and got my first workout in so I just wanted to send you guys a message of positivity, let you know I'm OK and thank every single one of you for sending me the amazing messages and videos. I really, really appreciate it. I hope that I can get back in the car soon."

Williams' George Russell stood in for Hamilton last Sunday and was on course for victory before a Mercedes pit-stop howler, and late puncture, derailed his chances of becoming only the fourth British driver to win a Formula One race this century. He eventually finished ninth.

Hamilton must return a negative Covid-19 swab before he is allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi.

And even then, he will await to see if the Abu Dhabi authorities will allow him to enter, with strict Covid-19 protocols in place for this weekend's season-ending race.

The F1 world flew to Bahrain from Abu Dhabi on Monday on 10 charter planes ahead of Yas Island being put into lockdown. Hamilton must serve 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain, meaning the earliest he could possibly travel is Thursday. Practice for the concluding round starts on Friday.

FIA race director Michael Masi said: "It is very much a decision for the Bahraini health authorities to determine if Lewis is fit and complies with their regulations, and further for the Abu Dhabi authorities to determine their criteria.

"If Lewis meets the entry requirements of the respective governments, and complies with the testing protocol by returning a negative test prior to entering the paddock, then there is no problem from our perspective. As long as the driver participates in practice (on Friday) or qualifying (on Saturday) he is permitted to race."

Hamilton has won 11 of the 16 rounds staged this season and wrapped up his seventh title in Turkey last month.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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