Daniel Ricciardo missed testing in Bahrain
Daniel Ricciardo missed testing in Bahrain Image Credit: Reuters

Daniel Ricciardo will be fit for Sunday’s season-opening Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix after recovering from COVID-19, his McLaren team said on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Australian tested positive last week and was unable to participate in three days of pre-season testing.

“Daniel has now returned a number of negative tests and will therefore return to the paddock on Thursday ready to compete in this weekend’s Bahrain GP,” McLaren said.

“Daniel has been feeling better each day as he continued to recover while in isolation following local regulations in Bahrain.”

Rivals Alpine had offered McLaren their Australian reserve driver Oscar Piastri as a stand-in should Ricciardo have been unable to race.

Practice for the opening race at Sakhir is on Friday and Ricciardo will go into it without having driven the car since Barcelona on February 24.

Bahrain is something of a home race for McLaren, with the team majority owned by the Gulf kingdom’s sovereign investment fund Mumtalakat. Ricciardo finished seventh last year with team mate Lando Norris fourth.