Revealing that Lewis Hamilton is “not feeling great”, Toto Wolff admits that he is unsure if the world champion will race again this season.
Early on Tuesday it was revealed that Hamilton had tested positive on Monday, the Mercedes driver immediately going into isolation.
Speaking to reporters today, Wolff, while admitting that it is unlikely the Briton is following the on-track action, said the world champion will be aiming to be fit again in time for the season finale.
“His priority now is to getting healthy,” said the Austrian. “I’m not sure he’s going to follow in detail what is happening on track. If you’re in bed and not feeling great, racing becomes a second priority.”
Asked about the possibility of Hamilton being back in the Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, Wolff said: “We’ve seen tests were negative within 10 days, so that is perfectly feasible in my opinion, it would be a very positive development.
“Nevertheless you need to look at the situation anyway because there is many athletes in sports out there that have tested positive for a long time after any symptoms and after being any way infectious,” he added. “So it’s something the FIA needs to look into anyway.”
Hamilton is understood to have contracted the virus during a trip to Dubai ahead of last weekend’s race in Bahrain. Asked if the driver had permission to be in Dubai, Wolff snapped: “Lewis doesn’t need to have any permission.
“He rides anything he wants,” he continued, “he jumps out of any airplane he wants, because he knows best what is good for him. He is a grown-up man, and this was never an issue.
“Contracting COVID is something that we are all not very sure where you get it,” he added. “If you ask Mario (Isola) where he got it, he is probably not going to know where, and it’s just unfortunate.
“He was protecting himself a lot, and then you go to Dubai, wear your mask all the time and come back with corona. These things happen.”
Asked how the situation might impact talks over the Briton’s contract which expires at the end of the season, Wolff said: “The timeline is being pushed back until he recovers. We know that we need to get it done, pretty well aware both of us.
“The priority now is him getting back on his feet and being back negative, and then we will meet or Zoom in order to put pen to paper.”