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COVID-hit Vettel out of second straight F1 GP, Hulkenberg in

Nico Hulkenberg will again race in place of fellow German Sebastian Vettel at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after the four-time world champion tested positive for Covid-19, Aston Martin said Friday.

The team said on Thursday that Vettel had not yet registered a negative test after falling ill and missing last weekend’s season-opening race in Bahrain, where reserve driver Hulkenberg took over and finished 17th.

Ahead of practice for Sunday’s race on Jeddah’s street circuit, Aston Martin tweeted that Hulkenberg “will practice, qualify and race” alongside Canada’s Lance Stroll.

“Despite lack of mileage in the AMR22 (car), Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah,” the team wrote.

“We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the Australian GP.”

F1 has made it compulsory for all drivers and team personnel to be vaccinated this year.

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