Rise in F1 COVID cases not linked to fans attending Russian GP

Formula 1 has reported 10 positive COVID-19 cases following testing at the Russian Grand Prix, but says it has no link to fans attending the race in Sochi.

Rise in F1 COVID cases not linked to fans attending Russian GP
Listen to this article

F1 has been conducting thorough screening for COVID-19 as part of its new protocols for holding races in 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic that delayed the start of the season.

All personnel entering the paddock and working at races are required to undergo tests every five days, with F1 reporting the testing figures on a weekly basis.

In the latest statement issued on Friday, the FIA and F1 confirmed that there had been 10 positive cases out of 1,822 tests completed in the last seven days.

It marks the first time F1's testing results have seen a double-digit figure for positive cases, but all of the positive tests were from "ancillary personnel". The previous highest number was seven cases out of 3,256 tests reported one week earlier.

"Those cases and have been managed quickly and effectively without impacting the event," the statement reads.

"The presence of fans has not affected that situation as the public was not allowed to enter the F1 bubble as per our protocol in force."

The Russian Grand Prix was the first race of the 2020 season to enjoy a sizeable F1 fan presence, with the Sochi Autodrom being opened up to around 30,000 fans per day, or half of its regular capacity.

Russia has not enforced as strict guidelines on practices such as social distancing and wearing masks as other countries, which may have exposed the ancillary staff to the virus while at hotels.

Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean said over the Russian Grand Prix weekend that it was the first race were he did not feel safe in his hotel.

"In Russia, wearing a mask isn't mandatory," Grosjean said. "Waiters do but don't cover their noses. There are many fans at the hotel, so we sometimes find ourselves sharing an elevator with people from outside the F1 bubble.

"That's not something I'm super comfortable with. I don't fear contracting the coronavirus for my health, I just don't want to have it because I wouldn't be allowed to go racing, I wouldn't be allowed to do my job.

"I am not happy with the safety measures implemented at the hotel."

The testing figure is anticipated to drop back to a lower level during the next round of testing ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

F1 has completed close to 50,000 COVID-19 tests since starting its new protocols at the end of June, reporting 26 positives in that time period.

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren: New nose will unlock hidden potential in car
Previous article

McLaren: New nose will unlock hidden potential in car

Next article

Why is Honda leaving F1 and which engine will Red Bull use?

Why is Honda leaving F1 and which engine will Red Bull use?
Load comments
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022