Vaccines to be mandatory for all F1 staff in 2022

Henry Valantine
A full Formula 1 grid before the race. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

The Formula 1 grid is awash with people as the cars prepare for the season finale. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

All Formula 1 personnel must be vaccinated if they are to enter any paddock next season, along with abiding by each host country’s own individual Covid-19 regulations.

A report published by The Times says the sport is expected to confirm a mandate will be in place for all personnel, including team staff, members of the media, drivers (the current grid are all said to be fully vaccinated already) and hospitality guests to potentially require proof of vaccination if they are to gain access to the paddock.

This move has reportedly been prompted because of the concerns surrounding the Omicron variant of the virus, which is still producing high numbers of cases around the world even though, mercifully, the death rate from the variant has been lower than others.

F1 sources previously told PlanetF1 “Formula 1 requires all staff who travel to any grand prix event, or travel anywhere on business, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“This requirement also extends to every driver and all travelling team staff, and no exemptions will be sought for anyone from any host country.”

Lewis Hamilton climbs into his Mercedes W12. Austin October 2021
HAMILTON Lewis gbr, Mercedes AMG F1 GP W12 E Performance, portrait during the Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix 2021, 17th round of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, WM, Weltmeisterschaft from October 21 to 24, 2021 on the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, United States of American - F1 - UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2021 DPPI/Panoramic 00121035_F12021GP17USA_JK198884.

A spokesperson for Formula 1 has since told the BBC this will be the case in Formula 1 this coming season, with the move to mandatory vaccines said to have been confirmed at December’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

As a result, this could enable the easing of some of the stricter safety measures in the paddock which have been in place for the past two years, such as reducing the frequency of testing.

The BBC also added, however, the “FIA is willing to consider individual exemptions on a case-by-case basis, as long as the individual in question was prepared to have a more rigorous testing regime than fully vaccinated people”.

 

Several drivers have tested positive for Covid in the past two years, with Kimi Raikkonen having missed two rounds of 2021 and Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez all having been on the sidelines the season before.

More drivers also tested positive away from race weekends, but the ‘bubble’ system – while still strongly recommended by the FIA – may no longer be a requirement for teams to limit contact with others in the paddock.

 

 

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