MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 10:35:46| >> :120:9183:9183:

Mercedes to make late call on Lewis Hamilton ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The seven-time world champion must return a negative Covid-19 swab before he is allowed to travel.

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team are prepared to wait until Saturday to determine if their star driver is fit to take part in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton remains hopeful he will be able to complete his world championship-winning season at the concluding round this weekend.

The 35-year-old, who missed last Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix after contracting coronavirus while on holiday in Dubai, revealed on Tuesday that he is back in training.

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

He is serving 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain, meaning the earliest he could possibly fly is Thursday. Practice for the concluding round starts on Friday.

But the PA news agency understands the world champions will afford Hamilton as much time as possible so he can race.

Under FIA rules, Hamilton can be absent from Friday’s two practice sessions, but must take part in either practice or qualifying on Saturday to be allowed to participate in the grand prix.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “There are still some question marks over who will be in the car this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

“Lewis’ condition is improving, but we won’t know until closer to the time if he will be driving.

“We’ll do everything we can to get him in the car and we know he’s determined to be back as soon as possible.

“But his health is our main priority, so we will see what the situation is and then make the call.”

George Russell replaced Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes car last weekend
George Russell replaced Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes car last weekend (Tolga Bozoglu/AP)

On Tuesday, seven-time world champion Hamilton posted a video, 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.

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
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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