Esteban Ocon, Renault, Albert Park, 2020

F1 paddock takes more precautions as five await Coronavirus test results

2020 Australian Grand Prix

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Two Formula 1 teams are awaiting the result of tests for possible cases of Coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix.

Haas has confirmed a further two members of its team are in isolation and are being tested in addition to the two announced yesterday. McLaren also has one team member in self-isolation. The test results are expected to take 24 hours to arrive.

However Renault told RaceFans a report elsewhere claiming three of its team members were also being tested was incorrect, and none of its staff have been quarantined.

F1 teams have limited some of their media activities at the circuit today, including reducing the number of television interviews drivers conduct, to reduce the potential risk of infection.

The drivers’ autograph session was replaced with a question-and-answer event, and fans have not been able to interact with drivers and team members at the ‘Melbourne Walk’ on the way into the circuit.

Kimi Raikkonen said the measures were unfortunate but necessary to protect drivers, staff and fans from the virus.

“I think it’s part of all the situation,” he said. “I tried to minimise the risk for everybody, not just for us, but its also for the fans.

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“I heard there are some people getting ill in the paddock, nobody knows what’s the story on that yet. It’s not just for us, it’s also for their benefit. We’ll see how things work out and what will happen.”

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams admitted the virus and precautions had overshadowed the event.

“We come to Melbourne and it’s the opening race and everyone is normally incredibly over-excited and it’s such a great country to come and race in,” she said.

“Just doing the the walk this morning, you can’t go and meet your fans. I personally spend about 45 minutes, an hour doing that every morning and evening. And it’s great you get to interact with the fans and not being able to go within two metres, that’s not great and that’s not what we want to be doing.

“But as I keep saying we’ve got to be responsible. Of course it is overshadowing the event, but we haven’t started racing yet. We just have to see how the whole weekend plays out.”

Esteban Ocon was also seen arriving at the circuit wearing a face mask (pictured).

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7 comments on “F1 paddock takes more precautions as five await Coronavirus test results”

  1. Not sure what he expects to achieve by wearing that mask…. apart from stoking up more panic

  2. Sharaf Sharaf
    12th March 2020, 10:43

    what he expects to achieve !? are you serious !? did you just land from Mars?!

    1. Most advice is that masks are really only of use to prevent others catching the virus off the wearer.

      So a healthy person wearing one doesn’t make much sense at all.

      1. I don’t believe that, sure they are not 100% reliable but if they catch just 1 microdrop of infected mucus as you breath in the air that contained it then they may have saved the wearers life.

    2. No I am not from Mars thank you very much, but thank you for asking

      As alluded to by Mark @Muzza, a healthy person wearing a mask is more or less pointless
      Masks are only an effective measure if you are in the close proximity of those known to be symptomatic and infectious, such as healthcare professionals and carers, so a healthy guy walking around the F1 paddock, albeit with 1 person confirmed and self isolating, is going to achieve next to nothing, other than stoking up further panic in the population

      Lets not forget that the virus also enters the body through the eye – hot swanky shades or not

      So, lets just scale back on the rhetoric shall we, and stop panicking

      @hohum – so if a droplet that carries the virus, or even an aerosol, is captured in the mask… where does it then go?
      The virus is known to survive for many hours outside the body. All the said wearer has to do is either breath in the virus from the mask, or touch the mask with his hand and transfer it to either himself or another surface, and it is transmitted

  3. Unless he has the virus. Its almost not worth using. Might as well wear a full meducal suite.

  4. He looks like a pervert with sunglasses and a mask, LOL hahahaha

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