Hamilton will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week, with his absence bringing an end to the longest run of consecutive race starts in history that dates back to his maiden Grand Prix in March 2007.
It means that a grid rejig has allowed fellow Briton George Russell to step up from his role at Williams and fill the seat, having been on the Mercedes books for a number of years as development driver, and the 22-year-old will partner Valtteri Bottas for the already-crowned constructor champions this weekend.
With Russell changing seats, another British driver in the form of F2 star Jack Aitken will make his F1 debut this weekend, while the absence of Romain Grosjean following his horrific accident last weekend will allow Pietro Fittipaldi - grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi - to make his debut this weekend.
Although Hamilton has already wrapped up the world championship, only 12 points splits Bottas from Max Verstappen in the battle for second, while the three-driver fight for fourth sees Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc separated by just four points. The action is also set to be of a more unpredictable nature given the race takes place on the ‘outer loop’ layout, with only four heavy braking zones and three flat-out straights to tackle.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend.
When is the Sakhir Grand Prix?
The Sakhir Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 6 December.
What time does the race start?
The race gets under way at 5:10pm GMT as the race takes place under the floodlights in Bahrain.
How can I watch it?
Sky Sports have the broadcast rights to all F1 races this season, with coverage shown live on Sky Sports F1 and on occasion their Main Event channels.
Channel 4 will show the British Grand Prix live each year, and have highlights of each race on Sunday night.
If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.
FP1: 1:30pm GMT - 3pm GMT
FP2: 5:30pm GMT - 7pm GMT
FP3: 2pm GMT - 3pm GMT
Qualifying: 5pm GMT - 6pm GMT
Race: 5:10pm GMT - 7:10pm GMT
FP1: 1pm GMT - 3:15pm GMT
FP2: 5:15pm GMT - 7:15pm GMT
FP3: 1:45pm GMT - 3:10pm GMT
Qualifying: 4pm GMT - 6:30pm GMT
Race: 3:30pm GMT - 8pm GMT
This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri - Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies