Acting Williams team principal Simon Roberts has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix.
The news was confirmed by Williams that Roberts had returned a positive test prior to the event which takes place this weekend.
On Monday Roberts had tested negative during Williams’ usual round of tests, but then returned a positive test on Wednesday morning. His symptoms are said to be mild.
Roberts hadn’t travelled to Istanbul nor had he been in close contact with any other team personnel, so it isn’t going to threaten their involvement in the Turkish Grand Prix.
Instead Roberts will remain in the UK to self-isolate for a period of 10 days and his duties will be fulfilled by Williams team manager Dave Redding and chief engineer of vehicle design Adam Carter for the Turkish GP race weekend.
“Simon is feeling otherwise well but will now isolate for the required 10-day period as per UK national guidelines whilst supporting trackside operations remotely this weekend,” Williams wrote in an official statement.
“Dave Redding, Team Manager, and Chief Engineer of Vehicle Design, Adam Carter, will assume his responsibilities on the ground in Turkey.”
Roberts has served as acting team principal for Williams since the Williams family relinquished day-to-day running of the team to new owners Dorilton Capital after the Italian Grand Prix.
Williams Racing can confirm that Acting Team Principal Simon Roberts has tested positive for COVID-19 prior to travelling to Istanbul for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) November 11, 2020
The Grove outfit will be hoping to finally score their first points of the season at the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix, and in particular George Russell is keen to make up for his costly crash behind the Safety Car at Imola which cost him a chance of scoring points for the first time in his career.
“I am excited to get back racing in Turkey, and for the challenge of driving at a new circuit,” Russell said.
“It has been good to have a week off to reflect on what happened at Imola and learn from my mistake.
“The recent performance from the car has been really encouraging and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.
“Overall, I am feeling stronger and prepared to fight back this weekend.”
The last Turkish Grand Prix took place back in 2011. Sebastian Vettel would take pole and the race win for Red Bull that year, while both Williams’ driven by Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado failed to make it into the points.