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Hamilton hopes to be fit for season ender

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team say they are prepared to wait until the eve of the race if necessary to determine if their world champion driver is fit to take part in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton remains hopeful he will be able to complete his world championship-winning season on Sunday.

The 35-year-old, who missed last Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix after contracting coronavirus while on holiday in Dubai, revealed on Tuesday that he is back in training.

Hamilton must return a negative COVID-19 swab before he is allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi.

He is serving 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain, meaning the earliest he could possibly fly is Thursday. Practice for the concluding round starts on Friday.

But the PA news agency understands the world champions will afford Hamilton as much time as possible so he can race.

Under FIA rules, Hamilton can be absent from Friday’s two practice sessions, but must take part in either practice or qualifying on Saturday to be allowed to participate in the race itself.

On Tuesday, the seven-time world champion posted a video, saying: “I know I’ve not been in touch this past week but it’s definitely been one of the hardest weeks that I’ve had for some time.

“I’ve just been focusing on recovering and trying to get back in shape so I can get back in the car and race in Abu Dhabi.

“I woke up today feeling great and got my first workout in.”

Williams’ George Russell stood in for Hamilton last Sunday and was on course for victory before a Mercedes pit-stop howler, and late puncture, derailed his chances of becoming only the fourth British driver to win a Formula One race this century.

Hamilton has won 11 of the 16 rounds staged this season and wrapped up his seventh title in Turkey last month.

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