The Mercedes Formula One team on Friday confirmed that they have isolated six more staff, including a second person who returned a confirmed positive Covid-19 test.
The team had announced on Thursday that one person from their travelling race team had record a positive test ahead of this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix. As a result, the team re-tested everyone at the Nurburgring circuit, an exercise that resulted in another positive test and one that was inconclusive. Both of those team members were immediately put into isolation along with four others.
The results came through on Friday morning, with one further team member having been confirmed as having contracted the virus, and one test coming back inconclusive. A retest for that case is now underway. As part of the FIA protocols put in place to minimise the chance of a virus outbreak spreading, Mercedes has identified the team members who were in close proximity of the affected individuals.
That means four further team members, who have all tested negative, have been removed from the bubble at the Nurburgring and will take no further part in the weekend. Mercedes has flown out six replacement staff members to fill roles at the team and try to minimise the impact of losing its regulars.
The team flew six reserve staff to Germany on Thursday, a decision that maintained the numbers at the track, but has thrown the champions’ race preparations into difficulty. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who is making a second attempt to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix victories, described the events as “a concern”. Speaking on Thursday, he said: “It’s sad to hear, for the guys that work so hard. We obviously had this week in between [races] and those guys work so hard to stay safe and be here on the weekends.”
Mercedes said they are following strictly all of the protocols laid down by the sport’s ruling body the International Motoring Federation (FIA), adding that they are not releasing any further information