Hand sanitiser station, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2020

Three F1 team members in self-isolation after ‘showing symptoms similar to Coronavirus’

2020 Australian Grand Prix

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McLaren has confirmed one of its staff members in Melbourne has been self-isolated after exhibiting possible Coronavirus symptoms.

“One team member has self-isolated in the hotel as a precaution, in line with our policy, after showing symptoms similar to Coronavirus,” the team stated.

“We are awaiting test results and currently do not have a definitive time frame for these. The team is operating as per our normal schedule.” The outcome of the test should be known within 24 hours.

Haas is also understood to have two team members in self-isolation for the same reason.

Formula 1 teams have arrived in Melbourne for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix which is due to take place in spite of the spread of the virus. The race promoter insists the event, which attracted over 100,000 fans on race day last year, will go ahead as planned. The option of holding the race behind closed doors, as Bahrain will do next week, has been discounted.

Some drivers were present at the track on Wednesday. Restrictions have been placed on their interaction with fans, and some teams have also withheld drivers from media events to limit any chance of exposure. More media activities are due to take place on Thursday, the day before practice begins.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Three F1 team members in self-isolation after ‘showing symptoms similar to Coronavirus’”

  1. I just hope that IF they have cought the virus, they didn’t travel with half of the grid on one plane etc …

    1. On the other hand, if they all get it then in a couple of weeks they will all be immune ;)

      1. GS (@gsagostinho)
        11th March 2020, 11:25

        @coldfly That’s not how it works though. Viruses mutate fairly quickly, which is why you don’t get immune after catching a regular flu (i.e. you can catch it multiple times in your life), and why you need to take flu jabs every year instead of just once in your lifetime.

        1. Andrew Bedson
          11th March 2020, 12:31

          That’s NOT at all how the seasonal flu works, there are THOUSANDS of strains and multiple mutations on a monthly basis. The likelihood of you getting the SAME seasonal strain twice is minuscule at best, but you have thousands of options at any one time. Covid19 is a single strain of the corona family of viruses, immunity may or may not be active but the studies haven’t had the duration to demonstrate yeah or nay to that idea.

        2. I’m not an expert, but work I the medical field. People generally don’t get flu more than once a year because the virus takes time to mutate and usually in the winter month. By the following winter the virus has changed its outer coating which your immune system cannot recognise as flu, even though you keep immunity to strains you have already had. The flu jab is produced months before winter on a prediction of that years flu predominant strain, I think there are about 3-5 strains in the world at any time.

        3. Viruses mutate fairly quickly

          You (nor anybody else) knows that about this virus yet, @gsagostinho.
          And even if it were like the normal flu, then the mutation is slow and will only affect people next flu season. All indications so far (again we don’t know enough yet) is that the current Corona virus renders you immune after you’ve had it (for the fast majority).
          Take the good news and enjoy it; there are enough people panicking ;)

          1. @coldfly There are no indications to show that so far – as you say, not enough is known yet. however, it seems likely based on other corona viruses. the cases of repeat infection were probably testing errors – the amount of time the viruses RNA stays in the body after recovery can be up to a month, but maybe not, in which case covid-19 is behaving quite differently to what we’ve seen before.

        4. Succesive mutations shold make the virus more contagious but less lethal (dead people don’t spread it)

    2. @bascb it is almost certain that they flown together with at least a group of their respective team members and even from other teams as well. Besides, they might have been in close contact with others in the factory before travelling and after arriving but before noticing the symptoms. Doesn’t mean they passed it to anyone even if they actually have the virus but the risk is there.

      1. Off course, it’s rather common to have crews on more or less the same group of planes since there’s several hundreds of them going to the same place, mostly from the same place and mostly at about the same time @paulk.

        I already saw some paddock reports saying that the McLaren guy just felt a bit of a sore throat and as @ben-n mentions below, one of the Haas mechanics is probably also more of a “better be safe then sorry” case.

        1. @bascb, I expect, and hope you are correct. I always expect to get some cold/flu symptoms anytime I take a long flight, especially as seasons change from hot to cold and vice versa.

  2. F1’s playing with fire here. If it gets confirmed, the season beginning should be postponed until the Dutch Grand Prix, there’s no point of travelling to Bahrain or Vietnam in practically no time.

    1. The Netherlands isn’t Corona-free within 2 months. Getting worst here every day.

      1. Not worst lol

      2. I wish our government would hand out curative sausage too.

    2. F1’s playing with fire here.

      Most people with symptoms don’t have this virus.
      An extensive research under a large high-risk group of people with symptoms ‘only’ yielded 4% infections.

    3. Oh well the eagerness yo get the season started could help to undo it already. Safe to say these people will have passed it on and it could and probably will spread like wildfire throughout the entire F1 circus. Good job everyone. As much as I want to watch a race this weekend the season should just have been postponed completely.

      1. Safe to say these people will have passed it on

        Stop the scaremongering, DavidH. It’s not even known if (s)he has the Corona virus, or just a benign infection/illness.

        1. @coldfly
          Yes, because davidH is the problem. Nope, nobody else is scaremongering. Not the media as a whole, not the writer of this article… but a single individual making a Comment in the comments section. Yup, it’s all davidH’s fault…

          I recently uninstalled a mainstream news application recently. They had the balls
          To advertise knock off N95 face masks, MULTIPLE times on their main need feed. 2 or 3 news stories about covid19, then an ad for knock off n95’s, 3 or 4 more covid18 stories, then another mask ad, repeat.

          We all need to chill.

          1. Xcm, the ads are usually automated based on words in the article, and they come from a provider like Google, where companies bids on words. The news application probably had no control over which ads to show. Report it to them, then they can report it to their provider, which can ban the clients ordering those ads.

      2. @davidh, Yerr, should a bin cancelled cause of the bushfires dangerous smoke.

  3. Just bumped into 2 Hass crew and they say its 2 of their guys under quarantine today, but they say nothing has been proven yet.

    1. YEP …from news.com.au/sport/motorsport/formula1 but I guess it’ll be all over news sites in your area/s

      Starting to look shaky about going ahead

      1. No shakyness there.. looks good for now.

        Interesting to see almost all new victoria infections were caught in the US.

        Of the state’s (victoria) last 11 COVID-19 cases, seven have been travellers returning from the US, while another caught the virus from close contact with people who had been in America.

  4. Here we go.

  5. Everyone’s coughing now, maybe we are all already infected. Just relax and move on.

    Or torch the hotel. Because it is not an overreaction.

  6. We are all already infected with COVID-19 just we are all already infected with the latest influenza strain. Young healthy people will be ok. Life will go one.

    1. And the not so young or not so healthy..? This is the problem here. It spreads to older people or people with other issues and they end up in an intensive care unit. Many more eventually getting infected than there are beds to deal with everyone included everyone else there not because of Covid. THIS is where the danger lies. Why so blasé about people’s lives?

      1. I am not blase. I am honest. You would like to believe that we will ALL come through this unscathed and everyone lives. But that is naive.

    2. What the hell are you saying man? We all have it?

      1. Until all 8.2 billion humans are tested, the reporting on numbers infected is like taking a drop of ale on the tongue and thinking you know all about it.

    3. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      Although the vast majority of young, healthy people will be OK, a not insignificant number of them will not be.

      I’m going to be spending the best part of the next two months shoving breathing tubes down people’s tracheas who have Covid 19. The news coming from my colleagues in Italy is grim.

      This is not a virus that we can safely write off.

      1. Hey @mouse_nightshirt, you guys on the frontline are going to be the hero’s of this pandemic. I hope you get all the support you need, cash handouts by the government is not going to help (too fixated by the economy). Slowing the spread is the best thing they can do, so run without out an audience. I love F1 but not at this price.
        Take care and thanks in advance as you maybe shoving one of those tubes in me and I probably won’t be able to talk.

  7. The papers are reporting one McLaren person and two Haas people have been tested and are self isolating – Ref. All Italians are now barred from Australia. Italy is on lock down. How will Ferrari and Pirelli get their people and kit in and out of Italy? It looks more and more as if this season will be interrupted. I was offered a ticket to the Spanish GP the other day. I think I’ll wait before I buy a flight…

    1. @rsp123 The Ferrari and Pirelli-people had already left for Australia before the full country-lockdown.

      1. Indeed. But what about next week and the week after? Can they return to Italy and then leave again? Even if they can, some countries have stopped Italians (or people who have been in Italy) from entering. And people from other countries are sure to be added to these restrictions. And it’s not just Ferrari and Pirelli – there are also Alpha Tauri personnel as well as numerous other technical and media people. F1 can’t run without its Italian contingent.

        I doubt there will be much racing before the summer, at least. The provision of a vaccine will be key, and that is unlikely to be available until Christmas.

        1. Maybe the whole season will have to held in Australia !? Yeah.

          1. Do Aus have any other F1 tracks we can go to? :D

  8. As King Theoden said it:
    So it begins

  9. What are the odds? 1 in the 70 race crew plus all the support team, has a bit of a cough. I watch snooker all the time, 1 in every 100 hasn’t got a cough.

  10. My brother is one of the Haas mechanics now in isolation. He reports feeling pretty much fine – but had a cold last week, so they’re taking precautions.

    Coronavirus is going to cause some damage, but there’s a lot of sensationalism from the media.

    Fingers crossed, everyone will be fine. It’s my brothers first full season in F1 and he’s hopeful his test will return negative in time to take part in the weekend.

    1. Makes sense that they are trying to be as carefull as possible @ben-n, thanks for the heads up. Wish your brother all the best (including a negative test) and the team good luck fighting on track!

      As someone I spoke with mentioned today – he hasn’t ever come off a long haul flight NOT feeling a sore throat!

      1. Thanks @bascb – sure all will be fine… not so sure about the Haas performance part though!

        1. yeah, that part is really about wishing them for the best, not expecting much of it though @ben-n :-)

    2. We wish him and his other quarantined colleagues a speedy recovery from whatever they happen to have.

      1. Thanks @mouse_nightshirt – the test has come back negative today, though the chap at McLaren wasn’t so lucky.

    3. Isolated on the first race of his first full season! Poor chap. Hope he feels well soon.

  11. Are Australian authorities purposely delaying the test results after the GP to avoid risking a cancellation of the event? Standard test time is around 5 hours… it would be shocking if they were indeed risking the spread of the infection through those that were in direct contact with the three and that have not been isolated…

    1. Interesting.. only 5 hours yet still no reports of the results? Its been about 24 hours…

  12. Trump has just closed the door on all travel from Europe to the US – except from the UK, for the next 30 days. He claiming the EU are responsible for all of the cases of Coronavirus in the US.

    If that doesn’t put a stop to this weekend’s race, then the FIA, F1 and the Aussie race organisers need to be sacked.

    1. that’s funny because recent positives in Australia have come from the USA

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