The FIA will have a new Medical Car team at the Turkish Grand Prix after both of its regular members tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the event.
Alan van der Merwe and Dr. Ian Roberts are the usual medical car team, with van der Merwe as the driver, that helps ensure rapid attention in the case of an incident. The pair were thrust into the limelight in Bahrain last year by Romain Grosjean’s crash at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Roberts helping the Frenchman from the burning wreckage of his Haas before issuing initial treatment.
Both van der Merwe and Roberts have tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the start of the race weekend in Istanbul, and so will not be present at the event. Instead they will be replaced by Formula E Safety Car driver Bruno Correia and FE Medical Delegate, Dr. Bruno Franceschini.
The regular pairing “tested positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling and are therefore self-isolating and will not attend the 2021 FIA Formula Turkish Grand Prix,” an FIA spokesperson said.
F1’s testing protocol means all attendees must pass a pre-event PCR test before being allowed to work at each venue, and must also undertake regular testing during the event itself. As a result, van der Merwe and Roberts will need to pass tests prior to the United States Grand Prix in Austin to be able to return for the race on October 22-24.