Masi: "Nothing wrong with COVID testing protocols"

20-10-2020 16:13 | Updated: 20-10-2020 18:19
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Masi: Nothing wrong with COVID testing protocols

Lance Stroll was forced to miss the Eifel Grand Prix at the last minute due to illness. Even though it was not a case of COVID-19, it raised questions about the FIA's testing protocols.

Stroll illness raises questions

Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer said that Stroll had been feeling sick since the Russian Grand Prix two weeks earlier, but that he was tested regularly when he showed symptoms. The results were negative each time. On the Thursday before the Eifel Grand Prix he was tested again, after which he was allowed into the paddock for the rest of the weekend.

This raised questions about the FIA testing protocol from different directions. All personnel entering the paddock have to be tested every five days, but this is about the same as the incubation time of the coronavirus. Because of this, someone could catch and spread the virus after they have been tested.

No loophole in COVID protocols

However, according to Autosport.com, race director Michael Masi believes that there is nothing wrong with the protocols. "No, it is not a loophole. For Lance, and everyone else, there are fixed times when they have to be tested before they are allowed into the paddock, followed by another test. According to the protocol, Lance should have had himself tested again on Sunday morning," says Masi.

"If a driver feels sick like Lance, it's up to him and his team to determine if he is able to drive the car. This is what they have done. According to protocol, they are required to report any corona to the FIA. They didn't do that, so there was no reason for us to do more."

Stroll is the second driver this season to miss a race due to illness. Sergio Perez did test positive for the coronavirus earlier this year, so he missed two races. Both drivers were replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.

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