Stoffel Vandoorne admits he feels disappointed after not being called up by Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton for this weekend’s F1 Sakhir Grand Prix.

The seven-time champion was ruled out of this weekend’s second race in Bahrain after testing positive for COVID-19.

Vandoorne has been Mercedes’ official reserve driver for the season but Mercedes overlooked the Belgian, opting for Williams’ George Russell instead.

Russell is one of Mercedes' junior drivers and was the team's test and reserve driver in 2018, before joining Williams as a full-time driver in 2019.

The Briton has yet to score a championship point since making his debut at the start of 2019 but this weekend will provide the best opportunity yet.

Vandoorne had just finished driving in the Formula E test in Valencia and flew to Bahrain shortly after.

Mercedes will run Russell alongside Valtteri Bottas, while Williams has called up Jack Aitken.

Vandoorne wrote on Instagram: “I want to wish Lewis Hamilton a speedy recovery and hopefully he’ll be back in the car ASAP. Nobody can really replace him!

“Obviously, I’m disappointed not to get the chance to drive for Mercedes this weekend.

“After having spent the year travelling to all F1 races and dedicating so much time, physical training, commitment to this programme…it hurts!

“On the other hand, I respect the choice of putting George Russell in the car. He has been one of the standout drivers and he fully deserves this opportunity.

“It’s moments like these that make my drive even bigger and I can assure you I’m going to continue giving 100%!

“Thank you so much, everyone, for all your supportive messages! It’s been great to see.”

 

 

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