It was definitely an unexpected shock when the announcement came that Lewis Hamilton had tested positive for Coronavirus. Playing a phenomenal part in Mercedes’ 2020 success, he was certainly on course to break and create some more new records.
But Hamilton’s absence has now shaken up the grid a bit in terms of competitiveness. And in a positive way, it has given George Russell and Jack Aitken a massive opportunity with Mercedes and Williams, respectively.
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo believes that it is fortunate that Hamilton could tie up the title race before his contraction of the virus. But he hopes the Briton makes a speedy recovery to return to the F1 grid.
Ricciardo stated, “Fortunately for him, the championship’s tied up. Obviously it would be the worst way in the world to lose a championship because of this.
“I think 2020 has been been weird enough. So I think that’s kind of the glass-half-full approach, or at least mindset, is that he has it wrapped up.”
“As long as he hopefully just has mild symptoms, and it’s nothing obviously serious, then I think he can he can be relatively OK with this one and missing this one out,” said Ricciardo.
With Hamilton absent from the Sakhir GP, it gives an opportunity for the rest of the drivers to catch up. Russell in particular would target a convincing performance as he looks to pick up his first points in F1.
The Renault driver added and said, “For the others, you’ve seen the whole grid now is really shaken up. George [Russell] has an opportunity to obviously have that seat and to have a go, and that’s then moved Jack into his seat. So obviously when one door closes another opens for some.
“The important thing is Lewis has mild symptoms, he’s OK and recovers quick and I think it’s the best of of a bad situation,” concluded Ricciardo on the subject.
Undoubtedly, Hamilton would be a big miss for Mercedes, even if the title races have already reached a concrete conclusion. But the onus now lies on the rest of the grid to come up with their best performances and put up a racing spectacle in the upcoming Sakhir GP.