Mercedes have announced that one of their team members tested positive for Covid-19.
This announcement comes ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix which will be held this weekend at the Nurburgring. As a part of regular screening for Covid-19 through all the completed Formula 1 events, all the paddock personnel and team members are required to undergo a test after every five days.
Through a statement issued on Thursday by the Mercedes Formula 1 team, it was revealed that a member had contracted the disease ahead of the race weekend in Germany.
“We can confirm that a team member has tested positive,” a spokesperson from Mercedes said. “This has been handled and is being handled in line with FIA protocols, working closely with the FIA.
“We ask for your understanding that we won’t be offering additional details.”
This marks the first known positive case for a member of a Formula 1 team as the race weekend approaches since Sergio Perez’s diagnosis for Covid-19 ahead of the British Grand Prix held in Silverstone back in July. There have been 26 reported cases since Formula 1 began the testing program for all team members and personnel back in June as the majority have been limited to to ancillary personnel not belonging to any team, F1 or FIA in that matter.
There are close to 50,000 tests that have been done on the Formula 1 personnel over the same period as the next full update from FIA and Formula 1 regarding test numbers and cases is due on Friday as a part of its weekly reports. F1 has been operating under very strict protocols through the 2020 F1 season to prevent the spread of Covid-19, restricting the number of people that can attend the ‘closed events’ and also restricting movements within the race paddock.
There are also guidelines and restrictions on what paddock personnel should do away from the track on race weekends and the time inbetween the race weekends. The protocols have given the FIA confidence that it is able to race anywhere with these protocols in place in the future, albeit facing limitations with various countries’ travel restrictions.
The member of the Mercedes team who tested positive will now be required to isolate to prevent a spread of the virus, with further tracing due to be conducted in line with the FIA’s protocols.