Not replacing Hamilton "hurts" after year of commitment to Mercedes - Vandoorne

Not replacing Hamilton

In short, the seven-time Formula 1 Champion will not be attending the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix because he has been diagnosed with the awful virus that has been roaming around all over the world in recent months, which also delayed and then contracted this year's Formula 1 Championship, among others.

"I had a message from Mercedes at seven this morning, in which they informed me of Lewis Hamilton's positive test and that they would make that official, then I was to wait".

Russell underwent a seat fitting in the Mercedes W11 on Wednesday to get used to the cockpit, but soon found that it was tighter than his regular surroundings at Williams.

Britain's George Russell will move up from Williams to stand in for his compatriot, who has clinched his record-equalling seventh title, in one of three changes since last week's Bahrain Grand Prix. Mercedes-AMG picked him ahead of reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff saying his experience of racing current F1 cars was a major attraction.

"I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn't really quite sure how it would play out at the end". Nobody can really replace him!⠀ ⠀"Obviously, I'm disappointed not to get the chance to drive for Mercedes this weekend".

"I'm so disappointed I won't be running this week", said Hamilton, who was about to take the 100 poles of his career to match the record of 13 wins in a season co-hosted by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

It has required him using one size smaller driving boots than his customary size 11s. He is the first driver to graduate to the works team.

Lewis Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19

"Obviously it's exciting for the young generation, I guess", he said. There are much greater problems going on in the world.

Bottas, who has won two races to Hamilton's 11 this year, said his main aim was to finish this season with some good results.

"There's no targets and no expectations because you can't judge somebody off the back of one race. We made it happen the next day".

Russell has tested several times for Mercedes in the past but this will be a different kind of challenge as he bids to highlight his future credentials.

"It's a huge opportunity, but it's equally one that I've been waiting for - for quite a long time - and one that I feel quite ready for", said Aitken, who last drove for Williams in opening free practice at the Styrian Grand Prix in July.

Williams, which is an engine customer of Mercedes, agreed to release the 22-year-old for this weekend's race and has announced it will replace Russell with its reserve driver Jack Aitken.

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