COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all Formula 1 staff starting this year, and those who have not had the vaccine will not be allowed within the paddock.
The BBC and the Times of London are now reporting that Formula One has confirmed that the vaccine regulation will stay in effect for the upcoming season.
The decision affects everyone who works in Formula One, including drivers, teams, media, hospitality employees, and any racegoers.
The announcement comes as Formula One gears up for what it hopes would be a record-breaking 23-race schedule this season. While the ‘bubble’ method would no longer be necessary, it is anticipated that the FIA will examine specific exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
Following the saga surrounding world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia earlier this month, Melbourne GP officials stated that no exceptions to vaccination laws will be made for F1 personnel.
A spokesman for the Liberty Media-owned company confirmed to German news agency DPA that F1 “will require that all traveling personnel be fully vaccinated.”
“The management of Formula 1 will require that all crew members be fully vaccinated with no exemptions.”
Alan van der Merwe, F1’s regular medical driver, had to sit out a few races towards the conclusion of last season due to a lack of vaccination.
Since the start of the epidemic, four drivers namely Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton, and Kimi Raikkonen have missed races after testing positive for COVID-19.