F1 confirms two people tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Hungarian GP

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 has confirmed two positive tests for the Covid-19 coronavirus ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The two tests were the only positive results among 4,997 tests conducted between Friday 10th July and Thursday 16th July.

The pair who tested positive prior to this weekend’s activity were not present at the preceding two rounds in Austria, F1 confirmed.

“The individuals were not present in Austria,” said the sport in a statement, noting, “the affected people [were] removed from operations and isolated.”

“Tracing of close contacts completed and isolated,” it added. “The FIA and Formula 1 are providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.”

F1 is not providing specific details regarding individuals’ tests. However RaceFans understands the two people who tested positive were not team members and the isolations will not have an effect on this weekend’s races going ahead.

During the Austrian and Styrian race weekends over 8,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted, all of which returned negative results. However Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn said he believed it was only a matter of time until the sport encountered a positive test.

“We will get a positive at some stage,” he said last week. “But we hope then we can control it and we can minimise the risk.”

Positive Covid-19 tests have also occured in other sports which have resumed competition following the pandemic. The two positive tests are the first since F1’s season-opening race was cancelled in Australia, when a McLaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus.

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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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21 comments on “F1 confirms two people tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Hungarian GP”

  1. How long did the results take to come through is crucial here, do we know that?

  2. Formula 1 has confirmed two positive tests for the Covid-19 coronavirus ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The two tests were the only negative results among 4,997 tests conducted between Friday 10th July and Thursday 16th July.

    Surely they can’t both be right?

    1. jumping Jimmy
      17th July 2020, 17:23

      Am I miss reading it? Why can’t they both be right? They conducted 4997 tests between last Friday and this Thursday and found 2 of the tests to be positive.

    2. A positive test is a negative result, if that’s what you’re referring to.

    3. Isn’t English great?

  3. Oh. This about to get real. It’s going be a corona championship. The crown, or corona if you may, will go to who can avoid catching it!

    1. Please no. I do not want to imagine the championship being decided because of that. Surely the FIA have to come up with a solution in case that happens.

      1. I agree, it would be wrong for the World Championships to be decided by the virus, but if drivers are going on extra-bubble activities, then what can we do? They know that if they get infected they won’t be allowed to race … or is that still an option for them? No one has said that if a driver returns a positive test then they have to be sent home, but it wouldn’t look good if they weren’t sent home. And which country is going to take them? If you hold a passport to that country then they’d have to accept you back, but having residency could mean that country doesn’t have to put out the Welcome Mat, which could mean you couldn’t go to your tax haven. If that was the case then getting infected wouldn’t just limit your ability to defend your place in the WDC, but could also mean a sizeable tax bill as well. Ouch!

      2. Pedro Andrade
        17th July 2020, 19:02

        It would be a shame to see a championship decided that way, but if you think of this as an injury that is preventable by adhering to the safety measures imposed by F1, the driver would only have himself to blame.

        *cough* Bottas *cough* Leclerc *cough*

        Remember when Montoya was injured because of a tennis injury and missed two races?… This is obviously way more serious, so if a driver catches COVID because of wanting to return home for 2 days while his whole team stays in F1-lockdown, I won’t have much concern for their sporting consequences (but a completely different matter as their health is concerned).

      3. True imagine if lewis gets it, good thing Hamilton is taking this seriously and isolating himself

  4. They won’t tell us which team is it. Show must go on.

    1. @ruliemaulana Just because they didn’t announce in public which team members got affected doesn’t mean that the F1 paddock is in the dark as well.

      1. @mashiat Yeah. You most probably right. At least the upper echelon must already have been brief behind closed doors. We didn’t even know if they are part of any team or local organizers either.

    2. Can you not read the article properly. It states literally that the infected people are NOT team members. That means they are likely officials or stewards

    3. That is wrong @ruliemaulana, as Fvh already mentions, the infected people were most likely marshalling or support staff, since they were not part of any of the teams:

      However RaceFans understands the two people who tested positive were not team members and the isolations will not have an effect on this weekend’s races going ahead.

      1. @bascb Yeah. I think I missed that or it was updated. I too bad the long and empty statement from F1 Media didn’t mention this.

        It’s an important notes and could avoid a lot of speculation as it already happens on F1 Media socmed.

    4. ColdFly (@)
      17th July 2020, 22:58

      The pair who tested positive prior to this weekend’s activity were not present at the preceding two rounds in Austria, F1 confirmed.

      Doesn’t it seem more likely that those two individuals are linked to the local race organisers rather than a team?
      But I guess some people prefer to see coverup and intrigue even when there’s ‘nothing to see here’.

  5. The two tests were the only negative results

    surely this should read ‘positive’? this is a big test of the seriousness of F1’s safety measures – if this just gets glossed over then many people will start to lose faith in the idea that they are doing a proper job on this. the whole bottas and leclerc thing last week suggested many were just paying lip service to it and not actually bothering with the particulars. I still can’t really get over the idea that bottas went home again – think how many people he came into contact with, how many door handles he touched, how many lives potentially endangered. a negative test seems to be seen as an automatic green light to do what you like – we know it is not a very good test! we know transmission is possible (perhaps more probable) from asymptomatic carriers.

    Also, compare what F1 does with what happened in the cricket – a player left the biosecure bubble that was setup around all players and staff involved in the series of matches and he was immediately booted out of the team, shamed in the press and put into quarantine for the next 5 days. I realise a test match involves rather fewer people than a grand prix, but if they’d thrown the book at Leclerc and Bottas in the same way the ECB has against joffra archer, then i doubt anyone could have many complaints.

    1. Indeed. The way Joffra Archer has been dealt with is polar opposite of what happened with Bottas. He went to Monaco again!!

      F1 needs to be serious about this and each and every individual needs to have a very high level of self-discipline. The virus spreads very rapidly, the self-discipline is critical to be followed (in life, sport, everywhere). All regulations should be designed in a way to enforce this self-discipline.

      Letting Bottas travel again was a mistake in my opinion.

  6. geoff Kennedy
    17th July 2020, 18:47

    To be honest it’s a bit of a joke. You have Botttas and LeClerc doing what they want. Lando flying home because there doesn’t seem to be any doctors in Austria and Hungary. And Sky sports swapping out presenters this week ! What bubble !

  7. The pair who tested positive prior to this weekend’s activity were not present at the preceding two rounds in Austria, F1 confirmed.

    Allowing new personal is risky enough, but not having them pre-isolate some days before is just asking for trouble… I highly doubt those two were pre-isolating (and taking extra precautions) before joining the F1 bubble

    Hoping this won’t cause a breakout, but a more strict adherence to safety from the entire organization

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