Ocon: Hard for F1 drivers to ease COVID-19 precautions

Esteban Ocon feels it will still be hard for Formula 1 drivers to stray from their strict precautions to avoid getting COVID-19 during the winter break.

Ocon: Hard for F1 drivers to ease COVID-19 precautions
Listen to this article

Three F1 drivers missed races across the course of the 2020 season through illness as the FIA enforced strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the paddock.

Sergio Perez missed the two Silverstone races after testing positive ahead of the British Grand Prix, while Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll pulled out of the Eifel Grand Prix ahead of qualifying, later testing positive for COVID-19.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had to skip the Sakhir Grand Prix following his positive test result after the previous race in Bahrain, but returned in time for the Abu Dhabi season finale.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said F1 drivers were living "like hermits" to ensure they did not pick up the virus and miss a race, potentially derailing their season.

Renault F1 driver Ocon explained that he was planning an intense training programme over the winter, but said it would be hard to waver from the intense precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19.

"There is going to be a high period of training, I need to catch the weight that I've lost during the season and get my fitness level up again," Ocon said.

"But it's a bit tricky to travel at the moment in Europe. It's a bit tricky to just drop the precautions really, because we can't really do that.

"We're not going to be tested as much, but we don't want to get sick and lose 15 days and feel unwell.

"Hopefully [I'll have] a good Christmas in family, an easy New Year really, because there's nothing to do, and then back to work training."

Read Also:

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly told Motorsport.com that he was eager to spend time with his family and friends over the winter, having been unable to see them much through the season.

"I still want to be careful with the people around me, but still I'm going to take more freedom to see my family, to see over Christmas, spend more time with them," Gasly explained.

"It's the same with my friends. I came back after two months in France [last month], and they were there and I told them, I'm sorry, I wish I could see you, but I just don't want to take the risk because you never know.

"It's kind of frustrating not to be able to. You feel like you're a bit in a cage, where you don't have the freedom to really do and see the people you want.

"I'm clearly going to take the opportunity over the off-season to do it, because who knows what is going to happen next year. We may be in a similar situation.

"Clearly during the off season and the small time we have, I'll try to have a better social life hopefully."

shares
comments

Related video

Why Albon's Formula 1 dream isn't all over
Previous article

Why Albon's Formula 1 dream isn't all over

Next article

Kvyat: Top F1 team chance would be "very different story" now

Kvyat: Top F1 team chance would be "very different story" now
Load comments
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

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

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
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022