Sebastian Vettel will miss Formula One's opening round in Bahrain this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19.

The four-time world champion will be replaced by fellow German Nico Hulkenberg for Sunday's season-opening race at the Sakhir circuit.

Aston Martin's Vettel becomes the second F1 driver to contract the virus within the last week.

Daniel Ricciardo missed the entirety of the final test in Bahrain with coronavirus but will be fit to race for McLaren.

A statement from Aston Martin read: "Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not therefore be taking part in the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.

"Replacing him in the AMR22 will be Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who will be in the car from FP1 onwards."

Aston Martin's reserve driver Hulkenberg, 34, last competed in F1 in 2020.

He made three appearances as a replacement for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, who both missed races with coronavirus.

F1 has made it compulsory for all drivers and team personnel to be vaccinated this year.

Red Bull's Perez, who missed two races in 2020 with the virus, believes drivers should be able to race with Covid-19.

Perez missed two grand prix due to Covid-19 in 2020

He said: "There's so much we've learned about the virus that going forward we should discuss whether we allow the drivers to race if the symptoms are mild.

"The drivers can obviously be the judge, but I think it makes sense to have a discussion."

The 32-year-old is gearing up for his second season at Red Bull. The Mexican played his part in helping Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the world championship by holding up the Briton at last season's contentious finale in Abu Dhabi.

"I want to be the one that is fighting for the championship and winning the championship for my team," added Perez.

"But I was in a special position where I could do something for Max, for my team. And that really made the difference to see them celebrating.

"Right now Max is the best driver on the grid. He is definitely a great reference to myself and as a driver you always want to be racing against the best, so it's a privilege to have, but it's the toughest job to have Max as a team-mate."

Red Bull are expected to start the season well, with Hamilton recently claiming that Mercedes would not be in a position to fight for victories.

But Perez added: "We have seen that they are extremely strong and they will be very competitive this weekend.

"We have a lot of strategists and we know that they are very fast, so they will definitely be up there."