Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that a doctor in Germany told Lance Stroll that he didn’t have to take a COVID-19 test.
Stroll missed the Eifel Grand Prix due to an illness that the team originally stated was not coronavirus. However, the Canadian himself has since revealed that it in fact was.
“I just want to let everyone know that I recently tested positive for COVID-19 after the Eifel GP weekend. I am feeling 100% and have since tested negative,” he said on Instagram.
“To fill you in on what happened, I arrived at the Nurburgring after testing negative in the normal pre-race tests.
“On Saturday morning I started to feel unwell and woke up with an upset stomach. I followed the FIA protocol and self-isolated in my motorhome and did not re-enter the paddock.
“I wasn’t fit to race so I flew home early Sunday morning. As I was still feeling under the weather I took a Covid test on Sunday evening.
“The next day the results came back positive, so I stayed at home self-isolating for the next 10 days. Luckily, my symptoms were pretty mild.”
Many have criticised both the team and the driver for him not taking a test as soon as he had symptoms, feeling that, as a result, they endangered many more people.
However, Szafnauer claims that Stroll was told by a doctor that he didn’t need to.
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) October 21, 2020
“As stated by Lance on social media this morning, Racing Point can confirm that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday 11th of October,” he said.
“Lance had left the team bubble in Germany on Saturday 10th October as he was unable to compete due to the effect of a recurring stomach upset.
“Lance had first reported an upset stomach during the Russian Grand Prix week and subsequently tested negative for Covid-19 several times, tests taken in line with both the FIA and Racing Point’s own protocols.
“He also tested negative before arrival in Germany in the official pre-event test for the Eifel Grand Prix. The upset stomach symptoms returned on Saturday which forced Lance to withdraw from the race and stay in his motorhome away from the paddock.
“He consulted with a doctor who did not believe his symptoms indicated Covid-19 and did not advise a test was necessary. Based on this clinical assessment, at the time there was no requirement to inform the FIA as to the nature of the illness.”
Instead, Stroll travelled from Germany to Switzerland before testing positive. however, he apparently didn’t infect any team members, and both he and team staff are clear to head to Portugal for the next race.
“In line with Racing Point’s enhanced testing protocol, under which all team members are tested on return from a Grand Prix, Lance took a Covid-19 test at home and received a positive result the next day,” he added.
“He continued to isolate for ten days from the date of the test, in line with local regulations. He returned a negative test on Monday this week and will travel to the Portuguese Grand Prix.
“All members of the Racing Point team at the Eifel Grand Prix returned to the UK via a private charter flight and all tested negative upon their arrival, and again in their pre-event test for the Portuguese Grand Prix.”