October 21, 2020 | News | No Comments
Lance Stroll has confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus after he was forced to pull out of the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Stroll felt unwell with “flu-like symptoms” on the Saturday morning before final practice and decided not to take part, handing over his Racing Point seat to last-minute replacement Nico Hulkenberg.
He had not tested positive in the most recent round of routine coronavirus testing of key paddock and team personnel before the race weekend, but did so when he was subsequently re-tested after returning home.
“I just want to let everyone know that I recently tested positive for COVID-19 after the Eifel GP weekend,” Stroll posted on social media on Wednesday.
- Read also: Villeneuve questions Stroll’s commitment after Eifel GP pull-out
“To fill you all in on what happened, I arrived at the Nurburgring after testing negative in the normal pre-race tests,” he continued. “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.”
Stroll said that he had made a swift recovery and was ready to race in this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
“I am feeling 100 per cent,” he wrote. “I was tested again on Monday this week and my results were negative. I feel in great shape and I can’t wait to be back with the team and to race in Portugal.”
He’s the second Formula 1 driver to test positive for coronavirus, after his team mate Sergio Perez was forced to sit out the Silverstone double header in August. He too had been subbed at short notice by Hulkenberg.
Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer had previously stated that Stroll felt unwell at the preceding Grand Prix in Sochi at the end of September, but that all tests for coronavirus before the Eifel GP had come back negative.
That had led to speculation about whether the FIA’s testing regimen is as robust as needed, but Formula 1 race director Michael Masi told Motorsport.com he was confident about the protocols the governing body had put in place.
“We don’t feel there is any loophole,” Masi insisted. “The requirement for Lance, or any other attendee on that matter, is that there are the various time requirements to test prior to entering the paddock, and then the follow up testing from that point.
“Based on the Tuesday test [before the Eifel GP] his next test would have been Sunday morning to fulfil the requirements of the FIA COVID protocol.
“With regards to Lance feeling ill, like any other driver it’s incumbent upon the driver and the competitor – in this case, Racing Point – to determine if they feel that their driver is not up to the capacity to drive the car.
“It’s incumbent upon Racing Point as the stakeholder in this case and Lance himself as an attendee to declare within the parameters of the protocol if they are having any of those requirements, and then there is the requirement from there to report.
“None of that has been reported to the FIA, so there’s nothing further from our perspective at this point in time.”
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