Szafnauer defends his team: "There was no requirement to inform the FIA"

21-10-2020 17:38 | Updated: 21-10-2020 21:21
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Szafnauer defends his team: There was no requirement to inform the FIA

After Sergio Perez was unable to participate in two Grands Prix earlier this year due to COVID infection, Lance Stroll also missed out on the race. He didn't participate in the Eifel Grand Prix due to illness and now it turns out that the Canadian also tested positive for the virus. This raises some questions because with two drivers from the same team having contracted the virus, the impression is created that the protocols are not taken seriously.

Positive test after the race

Lance Stroll will travel to Portugal, as he is better again and the most recent corona test showed a negative result. This means that he can be admitted to the paddock again and that he can continue his season. In his earlier statement, Stroll indicated that he had followed the protocols neatly and had gone into self-isolation as a precaution.

A correct decision was made afterwards since he tested positive for the virus. Although Stroll indicates that the test came back positive only after a test on Sunday evening, the imaging is something that team boss Otmar Szafnauer feels inclined to respond to.

Stroll had stomach complaints

He does this with an official statement, in which he writes the following: "Racing Point can confirm that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday October 11th. Lance had left the team bubble in Germany on Saturday 10th October as he was unable to compete due to the effect of a recurring stomach upset. 

"Lance had first reported an upset stomach during the Russian Grand Prix week and subsequently tested negative for Covid-19 several times, tests taken in line with both the FIA and Racing Point's own protocols," meaning that Racing Point implied that Stroll had two separate physical complaints: stomach and corona, which are unrelated.

"The upset stomach symptoms returned on Saturday which forced Lance to withdraw from the race and stay in his motorhome away from the paddock. He consulted with a doctor who did not believe his symptoms indicated Covid-19 and did not advise a test was necessary," Szafnauer somewhat looks at the doctor for not having tested Stroll.

No need to inform the FIA

"Based on this clinical assessment, at the time there was no requirement to inform the FIA ​​as to the nature of the illness," writes the team boss. Stroll then flew to his home in Switzerland and spent the last few days there.

When he was found infected with corona on Monday (when the results came back), he placed himself in home isolation and the final test shows that the virus is gone again. By the way, all team members flew back to England with a private flight after the Grand Prix in Germany and all got a negative test result back on arrival, the team boss says.

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