At least three Formula 1 team members are currently in self-isolation after being tested for coronavirus ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
The members — two from Haas and one from McLaren — were tested at the Albert Park circuit and have gone into self-isolation at their respective hotels as a precaution while awaiting the results. The concerns were confirmed on Wednesday afternoon, with test results not expected until the following morning.
“We can confirm that one team member has self-isolated in the hotel as a precaution, in line with our policy, after showing symptoms similar to coronavirus,” a McLaren spokesperson said. “We are awaiting test results and currently do not have a definitive timeframe for these. The team is operating as per our normal schedule.”
A Haas spokesperson added: “Two members of the team have been quarantined and remain in their hotel room. They displayed symptoms of a cold.”
Many F1 teams travel on the same flights to races and share hotels, with the McLaren team member isolated in the same hotel that is also home to AlphaTauri and Honda personnel this weekend
Race organizers have started making changes to certain parts of the weekend, with autograph sessions replaced by interview Q&A sessions and fans also told drivers “will not be closely interacting with fans for selfies, autographs or other direct engagement” on the Melbourne Walk into the paddock.
The Bahrain Grand Prix is already scheduled to be run behind closed doors in response to the global coronavirus outbreak, while the Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed and doubts remain over the third round of the season in Vietnam.