Vettel ruled out of Saudi Grand Prix as he misses second race after COVID-19 blow

By Sports Desk March 25, 2022

Sebastian Vettel will miss this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as he continues his COVID-19 recovery.

The Aston Martin team announced on Friday that Vettel would be replaced for a second successive race by Nico Hulkenberg.

He missed the team's deadline to show he was race fit, after it was disclosed on Thursday that Vettel had yet to test negative for the coronavirus.

Four-time world champion Vettel had been hoping for a significant upturn in his recent fortunes this season, but it has begun in disappointing fashion for the German.

He had to sit out last weekend's opener in Bahrain after testing positive, and now he will have to watch from afar again as racing goes ahead in Jeddah.

Reserve driver Hulkenberg finished 17th in Bahrain, with Lance Stroll 12th, as the Aston Martin team failed to finish in the points.

Aston Martin said in a Twitter statement on Friday: "@HulkHulkenberg will practice, qualify and race alongside @lance_stroll. Despite lack of mileage in the #AMR22, Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah. We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the #AustralianGP."

Vettel, 34, won his world titles consecutively from 2010 to 2013, and he joined Aston Martin ahead of the 2021 season.

The Australian Grand Prix weekend runs from April 8-10 in Melbourne.

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