Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2020

Hamilton: ‘No Coronavirus symptoms’ following speculation over contact with celebrities

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says he has no symptoms of the Coronavirus despite coming into contact with two celebrities who later tested positive for it.

The six-times world champion’s condition had been the subject of widespread speculation after two people he met in London two weeks ago revealed they had tested positive for the virus. He met Sophie Trudeau, wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and actor Idris Elba on March 4th.

In a statement on Saturday, Hamilton said he has no symptoms of the virus at present but has not been tested for it.

“There’s been some speculation about my health, after I was at an event where two people later tested positive for Coronavirus,” Hamilton wrote.

“I wanted to let you know that I’m doing well, feeling healthy and working out twice a day. I have zero symptoms, and it’s now been 17 days since I saw Sophie and Idris. I have been in touch with Idris and happy to hear he is OK.”

Hamilton said he has not been tested for the virus due to high demand on the availability of testing kits:

“I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but the truth is, there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do, especially when I wasn’t showing any symptoms at all.

“So what I’ve done is keep myself isolated this past week, actually since practice was cancelled last Friday and kept my distance from people.”

Hamilton came into contact with Elba and Trudeau at the WE UK Day charity event in London. WE is an international charity which partners with impoverished communities around the world to help with anything from clean water to developing schools.

The organisation holds several ‘WE Days’ around the globe to boost their fundraising efforts. Events similar to the one that Hamilton attended, which were due to take place in three cities across the United States, have since been cancelled.

Trudeau revealed her positive test on the 12th and Elba did the same four days later. Elba said he was able to quickly arrange his test after the news of Trudeau’s positive test broke as he was set to begin a film shoot.

“On Friday last week I was told that someone I had been in contact with had tested positive,” he said on Tuesday. “This person who’s also in the public eye had tested positive so it was definitely something that I had to do as I had to start filming and I was around a lot of people.”

“We were really lucky to test very quickly because of the shortages of tests,” he added. “But in my perspective it was the best thing to do immediately to test because I was going to be around a lot of people starting this new film.”

Elba said he “wasn’t showing any symptoms” at the time of his test “but I’m very glad I made that decision because I’ve been out of contact with anyone since.”

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Coronavirus testing equipment is under high demand due to the pandemic, which Elba believes needs to be urgently addressed.

“Obviously the early testing is the way we need to approach this,” he added. “Now I know this is not something I really am qualified to get into, I understand that getting a test is really, really hard. Should I have been at home and not at work it would have been really hard for me to get a test also, which is disappointing.”

Mercedes required its staff who were in Melbourne to isolate for two weeks as a precaution. A McLaren team member tested positive for the Coronavirus during the weekend. A group of McLaren staff who came into contact with the original case were also isolated, but only half were tested. They also remain in isolation.

“The most important thing everyone can do is stay positive, social distance yourself as best you can, self isolate if you need to, and regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,” said Hamilton. “Thank you for all the messages. I’m sending you positivity and love from afar. Keep safe.”

Hamilton has attended several public events since his contact with Elba and Trudeau. He opened the new Silverstone museum on March 6th with the Duke of Sussex, formerly known as Prince Harry, then travelled to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix. He posted a picture of himself wearing a mask during the flight on social media.

In Australia, Hamilton strongly criticised efforts to carry on with the race in spite of the spread of the Coronavirus. The event was cancelled on the Friday morning when practice was due to begin.

Carlos Sainz Jnr is the only Formula 1 driver so far to have revealed he has been tested for the Coronavirus. The McLaren driver tested negative.

Additional reporting by Josh Holland.

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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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25 comments on “Hamilton: ‘No Coronavirus symptoms’ following speculation over contact with celebrities”

  1. “I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but the truth is, there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do, especially when I wasn’t showing any symptoms at all.

    Very responsible of him and his doctor.

    I’ll admit it: if I were in his shoes, and with the other two testing positive, I’d probably be selfishly trying to get a test done.

    1. But he is very fit and very healthy so could most likely cope with having it. But getting tested would mean more numbers/info and that is critical into research.

      But hats off to him for putting others first and not being all “rich and pompous” and buying a test that might not be reliable anyway.

    2. Symptoms or no, he must quarantine no ifs or buts.

      1. Well Islander, his statement does say he has been doing that as soon as possible, so that’s okay then, right?

        Given the circumstance, logical and sound that Hamilton discussed it with his doctor, and took precautions when learning a test would be hard to obtain; as Elba says, he had a clear need to know. One does wonder a bit, how that would have been had the F1 race gone ahead, as clearly HAM would have been in contact with at least his team. I presume in that case he would have been tested as a precaution.

    3. I’d probably be selfishly trying to get a test done.

      But even if you do the test, the outcome doesn’t change the actions, care, and precautions you have to take.
      Personally, I would not take the test. But I’m one if the few who doesn’t want to know the gender of an unborn child or how my meat is cooked (I always order ‘the way the chef recommends it’s).

      1. @coldfly – it would change one action – the self-isolation we’re doing as a family here will probably change to self-isolation of myself as well, plus likely tests for other family members.

        Oh wait, I’m in Hamilton’s shoes, aren’t I? I’d also be on the phone to Toto asking him to save me one of Brackley’s ventilators.

  2. Imagine a guy who’s been holed up on holiday on some remote Scottish isle the last three weeks with his mobile switched off. He catches a ferry to the mainland this morning, switches on his phone and looks up the sports headlines:
    “Lewis To Self Isolate Till Further Notice”.

    1. “I can’t way to see how the last season of these rules has started!”
      Oh, about that…

      1. Step 1 – get him seated
        Step 2 – adopt a calm and soothing tone
        Step 3 – ̶h̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶h̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶a̶l̶ ̶s̶u̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶ Attention citizen: step 3 is in violation of social distancing directive #7, you have been reported.

        1. =D Nice.

  3. I live in Australia but imagine the test is the same worldwide. We constantly hear that there is a limited number of test kits available at any given time. I have personally been tested (awaiting results) and can tell you the test kit consists of:

    2 plastic screw top bottles (like plastic test tubes with caps)
    2 swabs (one up the nose, one down the throat)
    Plastic envelope to seal it all up in.

    Personally I dont see why there is a shortage of such a basic few items that compromise a kit.

    1. * comprise

    2. @glennb – well, that sounds a lot like a throat swab, not too dissimilar to what is used for DNA testing as well.

      But that kit is just the tip of the spear used to sample saliva/mucus from you, and that needs to be processed at a lab to give you a result.

      In the lab, there’s likely reagents and other chemicals needed to process that and perform assay testing. It’d be the tests there that are lacking, since you’d need specific tests to identify the coronavirus and differentiate it from run-of-the-mill flu and other stuff. Not to mention lab techs trained to do this correctly and efficiently. I’d wager the shortages are there, no different from medical responders who’re being swamped in some countries and who’re lacking equipment.

      1. @phylyp in the initial stages of the outbreak, the Chinese authorities relied quite heavily on RNA sequencing to confirm Covid-19 patients.

        You are right that the problem is not the acquisition of samples via the sort of kit that Glenn refers to – it is the capacity of the laboratory to then process those samples where the bottlenecks lie.

    3. As mentioned by @phylyp, what you describe is not the test but merely the sample collection. @glennb
      The testing hasn’t even started, and it’s the shortage of the specific reagents and cartridges for the testing machines (it’s undoable to do them all by hand) that is the major concern. And then there is the limitation of machines available to do these tests.
      Interestingly, even the ‘swab’ you saw is not a simple off the shelve item and is currently in short supply (most come from northern Italy).

      1. That all makes sense. Never thought about the laboratory side of things.
        I guess that’s why I’m just a humble mechanic (with an awesome car) :)

    4. @glennb – as the others have said you are describing sample collection and not testing, the test kit will be in the lab.

    5. The shortage is not in the bottle or swabs or plastic seal, its in the molecular primers of the SARS-CoV2 virus that are to be made.

  4. It’s probably worth calling out that there’s a video circulating on social media (at least here in India) claiming to be that of Sophie Trudeau, hospitalized and struggling to breathe. It’s not the Canadian PM’s wife in that video, it is an unfortunate woman from London who shared her experience.

    1. Never thought you would be one to watch ‘circulating videos’, @phylyp.
      And now you started me up: I think FB and WhatsApp are a bigger viral threat than the one all the medical professionals are working on. No vaccine, no cure, and all infected individuals don’t even recognise or accept their own symptoms.

      1. @coldfly – I detest such stuff, and usually avoid it like the ̶p̶l̶a̶g̶u̶e̶ coronavirus.

        In this instance, I looked at the video because I’d already seen those photos of Sophie, Lewis, Idris, and a few others, and my curiosity was piqued. A quick internet search then showed me the victim was sadly real, but not Sophie.

        I share your sentiment regarding the misuse of social media. Unfortunately, there are some groups that I strongly prefer being a member of (family, home owners assn., etc.), and they often have members who exhibit a strong correlation between an inability to apply rational fact checking, and a desire to share “information” for the greater good. I think this is a common problem many of us face.

        Sadly, there is a cost to free speech.

        1. Unfortunately ‘free speech’ doesn’t come with ‘free common sense’.

  5. I think he should still get tested. He might not need the test but other people that he came into contact with after could benefit from knowing (If he is positive).

    1. Someone credible told Lewis there was a shortage of test kits, maybe it was his doctor, maybe it was credible reports in the media. Currently it may not seem the world has a problem, but this disease is accelerating like an F1 car. This shortage is really really serious, and one kit saved from an almost certain negative result could save many lives. Lewis said he hadn’t any symptoms and that his doctor believe it was better to leave getting tested as there are others who do need to be tested. Maybe it does appear to be slightly cavalier, but the UK needs every bit of Corona Virus related equipment it can get there hands on.
      As I said, this disease is accelerating like an F1 car, and just like an F1 car, we need to be desperately seeking to find that “extra 1/10 of a second” to stop it.

      1. William Jones
        22nd March 2020, 10:04

        So what you’re saying is that someone should complain to the fia about Corona virus cheating, we need to “creatively” break the laws of chemistry with the vaccine, hide tobacco advertising on the test kits in plain sight, get an energy drinks company to sponsor the whole shebang, and make sure the doctors we use to give the vaccine are the ones who paid us the most, not the best qualified. Oh, and have an old man muttering constantly in the background, about sprinklers and such like?

        (( Question on English, what’s the difference between background and backround – I use them interchangeably, but this is probably wrong! ))

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