Vettel to return for Aston Martin at Australian Grand Prix after Covid

The four-time world champion, 35, tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the new campaign in Bahrain, missing the 2022 curtain-raiser and remaining absent for the subsequent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix a week later.

Reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg stepped up for Aston Martin in Vettel’s absence, placing last of the 17 cars that finished in Sakhir in week one before a 12th-placed finish in Jeddah, ahead of only team-mate Lance Stroll with seven of the field not making it to the chequered flag on an eventful weekend.

Vettel’s welcome return is unlikely to provide a quick solution to what ails Aston Martin in Melbourne next week, with the Silverstone-based team – owned by billionaire Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll – struggling notably out of the gate with their Mercedes engine.

The same can certainly be said of the Silver Arrows themselves and other customer teams McLaren and Williams, with Ferrari’s renaissance providing a clear boost for not only the Scuderia but also the likes of Alfa Romeo and Haas.

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