Lawrence Stroll, Racing Point, Hungaroring, 2020

Lawrence Stroll also tested positive for Covid-19

2020 F1 season

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Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence, the owner of Racing Point and Aston Martin, also tested positive for Covid-19 at around the same time as his son.

A Racing Point spokesperson confirmed Stroll’s father Lawrence, who did not attend the Russian or Eifel grands prix, tested positive for the virus on the Sunday of the Eifel Grand Prix, during a routine team test, in Switzerland. He isolate for 10 days as locally required, has not shown any symptoms and since returned to work.

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer has defended the team’s handling of Lance Stroll’s positive test for Covid-19 following the Eifel Grand Prix, details of which were revealed this morning.

Stroll sat out the last round of the championship after reporting several symptoms including an upset stomach following the previous round in Russia. He tested negative for Covid-19 on the Tuesday before the Eifel Grand Prix, but on Saturday morning decided he was too unwell to participate in the event.

However Stroll did not take a Covid-19 test until he returned home to Switzerland the following day. According to Racing Point, this was in line with their “enhanced testing protocol”.

Stroll first revealed the details of his positive test in a social media post today. He added he has since tested negative for Covid-19.

“As stated by Lance on social media this morning, Racing Point can confirm that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday 11th of October,” said Szafnauer in a statement. “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.

“He also tested negative before arrival in Germany in the official pre-event test for the Eifel Grand Prix. The upset stomach symptoms returned on Saturday which forced Lance to withdraw from the race and stay in his motorhome away from the paddock.”

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Szafnauer said Racing Point took medical advice after Stroll withdrew from the Eifel Grand Prix. “He consulted with a doctor who did not believe his symptoms indicated Covid-19 and did not advise a test was necessary.

“Based on this clinical assessment, at the time there was no requirement to inform the FIA as to the nature of the illness.”

Racing Point’s staff who may have come into contact with Stroll have tested negative for the virus, said Szafnauer.

“Lance flew home to Switzerland on a private plane on Sunday morning. In line with Racing Point’s enhanced testing protocol, under which all team members are tested on return from a grand prix, Lance took a Covid-19 test at home and received a positive result the next day.

“He continued to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test, in line with local regulations. He returned a negative test on Monday this week and will travel to the Portuguese Grand Prix.

“All members of the Racing Point team at the Eifel Grand Prix returned to the UK via a private charter flight and all tested negative upon their arrival, and again in their pre-event test for the Portuguese Grand Prix.”

F1’s Covid-19 protocols have been revised ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Previously personnel could enter the paddock providing they had tested negative within the past few days at any location. They will now have to test negative on-site before entering the paddock.

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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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17 comments on “Lawrence Stroll also tested positive for Covid-19”

  1. ”left the team bubble in Germany on Saturday October 10”
    ”flew home to Switzerland on a private plane on Sunday morning”
    – So he left the bubble before the trip back to Switzerland. What did he do in between outside the bubble?

    1. I believe he self-isolated at the circuit Jere. I have sympathy for RP here, he tested negative on several occasions after getting some symptoms, which were not even the classic cough/fever ones.

      1. Which leads me to believe that he wasn’t sick with Covid to begin with (non-covid symptoms and initial negative results)…

        The question is where did he catch Covid in that brief window between negative and positive tests?

        1. You can easily show negative tests multiple days into a Covid-19 infection. This is why e.g. Denmark requires two negative tests with at least two days between them before allowing school children and teachers that has been in contact with infected people back to school.

          1. He allegedly had multiple negative tests, so yeah. It’s entirely possible he had just normal seasonal rhinovirus at the Russian GP and then got covid later, incubation period is a week, after all, so any point in the week before the German race could have let to a negative test at the start of the weekend before he became positive.

  2. The doctor did not say so?? Yeah, well, they are supposed to be racing pros. I cannot imagine the likes of Hamilton’s doctor NOT telling him to test, just to make sure.

    Well, I guess both and Lance and his father picked it up somewhere in between. We can all just be glad that it seems no one was infected within the team (can we be completely sure though?). Good that the FIA have since tightened the regime, since it’s clear there was a loophole.

  3. It’s possible in his weakened state he caught it after initially getting sick with something else or were these ‘false negatives’ testing errors? seems strange only when he returned did he test positive.

  4. Pedro Andrade
    21st October 2020, 18:52

    So he does kiss his son goodnight, good for him!

    (sorry for the cheap shot)

  5. Get well soon, to everyone in the F1 circle. :)

    (and the world too I guess)

  6. Lawrence Stroll gets a lot of stick but no one can deny, he was great when he played Luca Brasi in The Godfather.

  7. So why didn’t Racing Point tell us all immediately during the Eifel GP weekend?

    1. Because as much as Papa Stroll likes to shout loudly about how honest he is, he is in fact exactly the opposite.

  8. Copying again …

  9. I must admit to being a little concerned about the definition that F1 seems to apply to “bubble” as I don’t see how team members being in a bubble at races yet returning to the UK and apparently home after or between races can even be close to safe. I’d incorrectly assumed that personnel were being kept isolated in a bubble for the entirety of each “group” of races.

    Its pleasing to see that they have changed their protocols now to not allow anyone into the track until they’ve returned a negative test result on-site as clearly things are again getting out of control in Europe.

    My only question is whether or not the tests being rendered are the ones that are highly accurate or are they using one of the many cheap/fast ones that have been proven to lack accuracy. If its the latter, it may explain why there have been a couple of individuals return multiple negative tests and then a positive one and now a negative one again pretty quickly. Perhaps someone in the know can clarify that.

  10. F1 need to be seen doing all they can to keep everyone safe, so far they are failing at that. With the significant surge of infections in Europe the championship could come to a grinding halt very soon.

  11. I’m more worried about Lawrence having Covid than his young son. But both had no symptom which is the best way to get infected.

  12. Like many around the world, I hope they get well soon.

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