Mask-less Vettel, Red Bull chat prompts FIA letter
The FIA has reminded Red Bull and Ferrari to follow Formula 1's coronavirus protocols at all times, after Sebastian Vettel was spotted speaking to Christian Horner and Helmut Marko without face masks in the paddock.
Photographs and video footage of Vettel chatting to the Red Bull team members were shared widely on social media on Saturday morning, prompting debate about whether or not it was a breach of the rules.
Under the strict protocols laid down by the FIA, teams have to be separated into their own bubbles and are not allowed to be in contact with other competitors.
Vettel's actions, although innocent, are in theory a breach of F1's Code of Conduct, which everyone attending the Austrian Grand Prix has had to sign up.
In the wake of what was spotted, the FIA's COVID-19 delegate has written to the team managers of both Ferrari and Red Bull to remind them that they must observe the strict protocols at all times. While the FIA's Code of Conduct is in the International Sporting Code, there is no fine or sporting penalty for any breach.
However, the governing body has made it clear that anyone who does not agree to follow the Code of Conduct will not be allowed to attend.
It states: "No individual is forced to agree to comply with this COVID-19 Code, and no individual will be sanctioned by the FIA for failing to do so; but any individual who does not agree to comply with this COVID-19 Code will not be granted access to and may not attend any Covered Event."
The Austrian GP weekend has passed without any positive case of coronavirus being detected, despite 2000 people present at the Red Bull Ring and more than 4000 tests having been conducted so far.
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