McLaren CEO Zak Brown has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not attend the British Grand Prix, the team have announced.
Every member of the Formula 1 paddock is required to take multiple tests ahead of race weekends to minimise the spread of the virus.
While there have not been a huge amount of positive tests in the past year, a number of personnel, including drivers and team bosses, have been infected and Brown is the latest of them.
The American is one of three McLaren members to test positive and they will all now miss the race weekend at Silverstone. According to the team, the cases are all unrelated.
“McLaren Racing confirmed today that three team members, including CEO Zak Brown, tested positive for Covid-19 during the team’s rigorous testing programme before the British Grand Prix. Neither of our drivers are close contacts,” a team statement said.
“All three cases are unconnected and now isolating in accordance with government guidelines. The team’s operations for the British Grand Prix are unaffected.”
Following our team’s pre-event testing for the British GP, I’ve tested positive for covid-19. I’ve notified all my close contacts and isolating in accordance with govt guidelines. I’ll still be connected to and supporting the team safely from home. https://t.co/XZ4YxmfAtK
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) July 15, 2021
Brown was set to take to the wheel at Silverstone, driving the Lotus 79 he owns in which Mario Andretti won the 1978 F1 World Championship as part of a special exhibition celebrating classic cars from the first F1 race to take place at Silverstone back in 1951.
That is now, of course, not possible, and it is not yet clear whether someone will take his place and drive the vehicle instead.
Most importantly though, the two men that drive McLaren’s current cars, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, have apparently not been in close contact with Brown recently, nor have any other members of the team, so their weekend will go ahead as per usual.