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Hamilton Positive for COVID-19, Will Miss F1′s Sakhir GP

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FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 file photo Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain participates in a media conference prior to the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020. (Mario Renzi, Pool via AP, File)

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

The Mercedes team said in a statement Tuesday that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit.

“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.

“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.

The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the Bahrain GP, which was marred by a crash that left Romain Grosjean with minor burns to his hands and ankles after his Haas car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start.

“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” Hamilton said following Sunday’s race. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship last month in Turkey and has a big lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas (201) and Max Verstappen (189).

He has won 11 races this season. But his absence in Sakhir means he will not be able to win a 13th and equal Sebastian Vettel’s record, set in 2013 with Red Bull.

Hamilton also misses out, for now, on being able to clinch a 100th pole position. His pole last weekend was the record-extending 98th of his career.

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week. Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.

Formula One organizers said Hamilton needs a negative test before being allowed to return to the F1 paddock and, therefore, remains a doubtful starter for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

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Monster Jam World Finals® Returns to Orlando This Weekend, Celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary

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Monster Jam World Finals is premiering a first-ever figure-eight over-under track that allows trucks to simultaneously jump over each other while racing. Image: Feld Entertainment.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The prestigious Monster Jam World Finals® returns to Orlando May 21 and 22, 2022. This two-day championship is the biggest event of the season and showcases the best trucks and drivers in Racing, Freestyle, High Jump and Skills competitions. This year’s World Finals XXI celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary and Grave Digger’s 40th Anniversary. It offers the largest Pit Party of the year, where fans can meet the drivers, see the trucks up close and enjoy many other family-friendly activities–all included in the ticket price. Fans can purchase tickets for both days through Ticketmaster.com.

Fans get to watch jaw-dropping stunts from the drivers’ 1,500 horsepower, 12-feet tall, 12,000-pound monster trucks, including 12-time world champion Tom Meents, driver of the Max-D truck. World record holder Bari Musawwir, driver of the Zombie truck, also returns to compete in the Skills Competition.

In just in 7.5 days, Camping World Stadium’s gridiron field transformed into the World Finals dirt track with 7,500 yards and 22.5 million pounds of dirt. This year’s track includes a first-ever figure-eight over-under track that allows trucks to simultaneously jump over each other while racing. Fans not only get to enjoy over-the-top stunts, and thrilling fireworks, but they’ll be the very ones choosing the winner.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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Representative Duran’s HB 91 Passes in Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Subcommittee

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State Representative Nicholas X. Duran. Photo via Florida Politics.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Source: Florida House of Representatives // Earlier today, HB 91 passed with unanimous bipartisan support in the Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Subcommittee. HB 91 provides DHSMV authority relating to the display & use of digital license plates and specifies requirements for digital license plates, digital license plate providers, & digital license plate consumers.

“Bringing digital license plates to Florida helps to pave the way into a more connected future. Florida has always been on the cutting-edge of technology and allowing the use of this technology can bring large-scale efficiency and savings to the over 17 million registered vehicles in our state. I am happy this bill was able to make it out of committee and is on its way to becoming law,” said Representative Nicholas X. Duran (D- Miami).

Having passed favorably, the bill has been referred to the Commerce Committee.

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Tesla on Part-Automated Drive System Slams into Police Car

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FILE - This Feb. 9, 2019, file photo shows a sign bearing the company logo outside a Tesla store in Cherry Creek Mall in Denver. A Tesla using its partially automated driving system slammed into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 on an interstate near downtown Orlando and narrowly missed its driver, who had pulled over to assist a disabled vehicle. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — A Tesla using its partially automated driving system slammed into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser Saturday on an interstate near downtown Orlando and narrowly missed its driver, who had pulled over to assist a disabled vehicle.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driving system after a series of similar collisions with parked emergency vehicles.

The trooper whose cruiser was hit shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday had activated his emergency lights and was on the way to the disabled vehicle when the Tesla hit the cruiser’s left side and then collided with the other vehicle, highway patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes told The Orlando Sentinel.

The report said the 27-year-old man in the Tesla and the driver of the disabled vehicle suffered minor injuries and the trooper was unhurt.

Tesla did not immediately respond to an email sent to its press address.

Autopilot has frequently been misused by Tesla drivers, who have been caught driving drunk or even riding in the back seat while a car rolled down a California highway.

The electric vehicle maker uses a camera-based system, a lot of computing power, and sometimes radar to spot obstacles, determine what they are, and then decide what the vehicles should do. But researchers say it has had trouble with parked emergency vehicles and perpendicular trucks in its path.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the Tesla probe after tallying 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on autopilot or cruise control have hit vehicles where first responders have used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards.

In those crashes, 17 people were injured and one was killed, the NHTSA said. An investigation could lead to a recall or other enforcement action.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which also has investigated Tesla crashes, has recommended that NHTSA and Tesla limit the autopilot’s use to areas where it can safely operate. It also recommended that Tesla be required to improve its system to ensure drivers pay attention.

Last year the NTSB blamed Tesla, drivers and lax regulation by NHTSA for two collisions in which Teslas crashed beneath crossing tractor-trailers.

The crashes into emergency vehicles cited by NHTSA began on Jan. 22, 2018, in Culver City, California, near Los Angeles when a Tesla using autopilot struck a parked firetruck with flashing lights. No one was injured in that accident.

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