F1 declares its first two cases of COVID-19

Date published: July 17 2020

Two positive results for COVID-19 emerged from the 4,997 tests carried out among F1 personnel in the past seven days

Two positive results for COVID-19 emerged from the 4,997 tests carried out among F1 personnel in the past seven days – but neither individual attended the Styrian Grand Prix.

Rigorous testing of those present on the F1 circuit is taking place to allow the sport to continue while the global health pandemic is ongoing, and these are the first two positive cases to have been recorded.

An FIA statement revealed that both people were quarantined as soon as it became known that they had tested positive, but did not disclose whether or not they were displaying symptoms or anything about their condition.

The statement read: “The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 10th July and Thursday 16th July, 4,997 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams and personnel.

“Of these, two people have tested positive. The individuals were not present in Austria, with the affected people removed from operations and isolated. Tracing of close contacts completed and isolated.

“The FIA and Formula 1 are providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to teams or individuals will be provided by the FIA or Formula 1 and results will be made public every seven days.”

News of the positive tests will have come as no great surprise to Formula 1 sporting director Ross Brawn, who said recently it was inevitable that a case of COVID-19 would occur in the sport at some point despite the bio-secure ‘bubble’ in which it is operating.

Brawn had said: “The concept of the biosphere and the big bubble… that means we will get a positive at some stage, but we hope then we can control it and minimise the risk.

“Touch wood we’ve been OK so far but we can’t get complacent.

“We need to ensure that Formula 1, being an international sport moving around the world, we don’t become a sport that takes COVID into a country.

“We’ve got to be someone who countries can totally rely on being a safe activity to have.”

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