Pirelli F1 boss tests positive for COVID-19

Date published: November 16 2020

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola

Pirelli’s Formula 1 boss Mario Isola returned a positive COVID-19 test on race day at the Turkish Grand Prix.

It has been confirmed by the FIA that Isola returned a positive test on Sunday 15 November as part of the usual COVID-19 testing procedures.

They report that he isn’t displaying any symptoms and will now self-isolate, while there have been no further positive cases among those who came into contact with him.

“The FIA, Formula 1 and Pirelli can confirm that Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola has tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday 15 November at the Turkish Grand Prix,” read a statement.

“Mario returned a positive result during the regular Sunday COVID testing schedule. He is now isolating, and is asymptomatic and will adhere to the local medical guidelines. All close contacts have been declared, retested, and no further positive cases have been returned.”

Isola has been fighting against the pandemic since it first arose as part of his volunteer ambulance driver and paramedic role.

Just two weeks after the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled in March Isola was back volunteering with the Croce Viola Milano medical service in Milan.

Pirelli faced some scrutiny at Istanbul Park after bringing the hardest compounds in their range to the event. The C1s, C2s and C3s all struggled to provide drivers with enough grip on the newly-laid tarmac during the dry conditions on Friday.

Isola had said that Pirelli were caught out by the lack of grip, while they had been told about the resurfacing “quite late”.

“Obviously we had the information about the resurfacing of the track quite late,” Isola told Motorsport.com. “And we didn’t know about the characteristics of the tarmac.

“And we have a tyre choice that is quite conservative considering the condition of the tarmac, and the type of tarmac we have now.

“I was expecting a tarmac that was more similar to Portimao, where we had smooth tarmac, with bitumen on top, and tyres were able to develop some grip.

“Instead here we had no grip, probably a combination of the temperature, the fact that it was damp, the type of tarmac, and the selection that is quite hard, the hardest that we can have.

“This circuit was resurfaced with the support of Tilke I believe, while Portimao was resurfaced with the support of Dromo, they are two companies that are working around that. So they probably used a different material.”

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