12/12/2021 19:07:11 PM Rajan Kumar Singh 210
Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not take part in Sunday's season-ending Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, his team said. "Nikita is physically well, having been asymptomatic, but he will now self-isolate and adhere to the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for all parties concerned," Haas said in a statement. "Uralkali Haas F1 Team wish Nikita well and we look forward to his return to the race track in early 2022 for pre-season testing."
Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is in Abu Dhabi, but Formula One organisers explained that because the Brazilian hasn't taken part in at least one session this weekend, he is not eligible to stand in for the Russian.
As a result, Haas will run just one car -- with Mick Schumacher at the wheel -- for Sunday's race.
A joint statement on Mazepin's positive test added: "The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix."
Red Bull's Max Verstappen starts in pole in his epic battle with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One world title, with both drivers on equal points going into the race that is scheduled to start at 1300 GMT.