Lewis Hamilton will miss the opportunity to make it six consecutive race wins, after testing positive for COVID-19.
It will be the first time the seven-time world champion has missed a race since starting his F1 career in 2007, putting to an end his record of 265 consecutive race starts.
A statement from Mercedes read:
Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the test of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.
However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.
Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since bee confirmed by a retest.
Lewis is now isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him our very best wishes for a swift recovery.
We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course.
It will now be interesting to see who replace Hamilton in the Mercedes, to see just how well another driver can do in the W11 which has dominated the championship so far.
Mercedes reserve Stoffel Vandoorne is currently in Valencia testing for Formula E but is scheduled to return to Bahrain with the team this weekend.
Us: "Oh look, there's @svandoorne doing his warm-up routine!"
— Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team (@MercedesEQFE) December 1, 2020
Mercedes have not however confirmed that Vandoorne step in for the F1 weekend.