Two more Haas team members are being tested for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix, while local health officials have warned of the need to quarantine significant numbers of F1 personnel if any cases are confirmed.
On Wednesday, both team members from both McLaren and Haas were self-isolating in hotels after being tested for the virus. Results from those tests are expected imminently, but Haas team principal Guenther Steiner confirmed in the paddock on Thursday that two more personnel are now following the same process.
“We should get the results in the afternoon, until then I don’t know anything,” Steiner said of the original two members. “I don’t want to speculate, I’m not a doctor, so hopefully they come back negative and we keep on going like we want to.
“It’s four in total. One engineer and three mechanics. We took the conscious decision to take them to the medical center and they said ‘you need to take the test’, but it doesn’t mean anything. Any of us can take the test and it doesn’t mean anything until they check if they have it or not.”
Before news of the second two Haas team members being tested became public, the state of Victoria’s chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton told Melbourne radio station SEN 1116 that next steps are dependent on the test results.
“I’m aware that there is crew who are unwell and in isolation who have tests pending,” Sutton said. “It will depend on those tests. If they are all negative, if everyone else who has got symptoms is negative and they haven’t exposed other crew, then I can see that they can carry on. But if there are positive crew and they’ve exposed to a number of others, then all of those contacts need to be in quarantine, and so it will be a question of whether they’ve got the operational staff to continue.
“I’ve spoken to my team about getting those tests results as soon as possible, and it’s really all contingent on that. If there are positive tests then I will be directly involved with the CEO, with the organizers, about what next steps need to be taken and what the implications are.”