Infections were reported in the German team on the eve of the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany.
Six members of the Mercedes Formula 1 team had to be replaced after the discovery of two cases of coronavirus in their ranks, the German team announced on Friday on the first day of activities of the Eifel Grand Prix, which will be raced this Sunday at the traditional Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
“After a positive yesterday (Thursday), the whole team passed a test again in Germany,” says Mercedes. “They all tested negative, except for another positive test and an inconclusive result, which passed a test again.”
“According to the protocols, four members of the team (who had been in contact with the people affected by the new coronavirus), all negative, will not be able to participate the rest of the weekend. Six substitutes have arrived from Great Britain (where they have his base in the team). “
“It is certainly not a good situation, since everyone is important (…) but thanks to the substitutions we should control things,” he lamented Toto Wolff, the pattern of Mercedes in Formula 1.
The identity of the people affected by the infections was not revealed, but taking into account the images of the paddock on Thursday and Friday, they are not drivers or the main members of the team.
Mercedes is not the first team to have a positive case this year: A McLaren member had tested positive before the first Grand Prix, in Australia in mid-March, causing it to be canceled.
Mexican driver Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) was also infected, who missed both Silverstone races in Great Britain in early August for the same reasons. Several circuit staff members also tested positive.
The health protocol put in place for the F1 Grand Prix foresees a detection test before entering each circuit for the first time, and then every five days.
The team personnel are separated into bubbles as tight as possible to limit the risks of contagion and positive cases must be immediately isolated.
The Eifel Grand Prix, from Friday to Sunday, is the eleventh round of the 17 that is scheduled for this particular season that only started in July with a double appointment in Austria. Formula 1 has not raced at the Nürburgring since 2013.