Mercedes has announced one of its team members has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Formula 1 and the FIA carry out regular testing at events as part of the unusual 2020 season, to limit the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak caused by the sport traveling to multiple countries every few weeks. As part of that testing, the sport makes public the number of positive cases each week but does not announce individual cases. However, Mercedes says it has had a team member test positive at the Nurburgring.
“We can confirm that a team member has tested positive,” a Mercedes spokesperson 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.”
RACER understands the positive test is not from either driver Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas, but the team is now working to minimize the impact of the development.
Ten positive cases were announced by F1 following the Russian Grand Prix, but that figure does not include testing carried out individually by teams and suppliers away from events. In the UK, the number of cases per day has been rising significantly in recent weeks — partly due to increased testing — leading to an increase in restrictions including limits on travel.
Eight of the 10 teams have some form of base in the UK, with only Alfa Romeo (Switzerland) and Ferrari (Italy) wholly based elsewhere. AlphaTauri’s headquarters are in Italy but the team has an aerodynamic department in Bicester near Silverstone.