Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Nurburgring, 2020

Stroll tested positive for Covid-19 after Eifel Grand Prix

2020 F1 season

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Lance Stroll has revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 following the Eifel Grand Prix weekend.

The Racing Point driver did not participate in the last round due to illness.

“I just want to let everyone know that I recently tested positive for Covid-19 after the Eifel GP weekend,” said Stroll in a statement. “I am feeling 100% and have since tested negative.”

Stroll decided not to participate in the last race weekend 30 minutes before the start of the final practice session on Saturday morning. This was the first time F1 cars ran on the track after Friday’s running was disrupted by poor weather.

“To fill you in on what happened, I arrived at the Nurburgring after testing negative in the normal pre-race tests,” said Stroll.

“On Saturday morning I started to feel unwell and woke up with an upset stomach. I followed the FIA protocol and self-isolated in my motorhome and did not re-enter the paddock. I wasn’t fit to race so I flew home early Sunday morning. As I was still feeling under the weather I took a Covid test on Sunday evening.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Nurburgring, 2020
Stroll was in the paddock at the Nurburgring
“The next day the results came back positive, so I stayed at home self-isolating for the next 10 days. Luckily, my symptoms were pretty mild.

“I was tested again on Monday this week and my results were negative. I feel in great shape and I can’t wait to be back with the team and to race in Portugal.”

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said during the Eifel Grand Prix weekend that Stroll began to feel unwell while in Russia for the previous round of the championship, which took place on September 27th.

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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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36 comments on “Stroll tested positive for Covid-19 after Eifel Grand Prix”

  1. “Perez forced to sit out multiple races while the bosses son shows up unwell and mixes with everyone until Saturday afternoon” is not a good look.

    1. Not sure what you’re trying to imply here. There’s testing procedures in place by the FOM that restrict paddock access to people that test positive. Perez wasn’t allowed on the paddock because he tested positive, and continued to test positive for “multiple races”

      Stroll tested negative, then positive, and now negative again, so he only missed one race. I can’t see anything about him infecting “everyone.”

      But hey, any excuse to dunk on Stroll, right.

    2. It is not up to his team to let him onto the paddock after a positive covid test. He tested negative before the weekend, otherwise F1 wouldn’t let him in. Nothing to do with who is who’s son.

    3. @joshgeake, best to read the article first.

      1. Yeah, not sure Stroll did anything wrong in this, though clearly the protocol seems to have left some rather large gaps @aiii, @coldfly, if he had to get a test for himself on Sunday after getting home (on private jet?), rather than automatically being given one early on Saturday by the FIA if he felt (justified, clearly, but that wasn’t sure at the time) need to self-isolate.

        1. Omar has stated he tested negative on multiple tests since Russia, when he first developed symptoms. I do assume he was tested extra as his symptoms worsened, during the weekend.

          It’s entire possible he had a common rhinovirus infection all the way until Saturday, too, and his impaired immune system made him more vulnerable to Covid-19 as a result. There’s no saying the continued negative tests were wrong, though they could have been.

          1. Yes @aiii but that still does not say why only a test on Sunday after getting home, rather than Saturday morning at the track.

      2. I suggest you stop listening to the team’s PR statements and start looking at the facts?

        1. Is that a question? @joshgeake
          Please share with us those facts, and especially any facts that contradict that he was tested prior to the Eiffel GP (as per protocol and Stroll’s statement) or (if tested and positive) that he mingled after being tested positive, whilst F1 kept the test result secret.
          You might have the key to a genuine Strollgate story. Or should that be F1gate or Eiffelgate?

          Otherwise, please leave your conspiracy theories and creating-your-own-facts to your #SaveTheChildren groups.

          1. Stroll took an FIA test on Thursday that came out negative. He then admitted to ‘feeling unwell’ on Saturday and (strangely) immediately flew home, thus avoiding having to take a further FIA test at the circuit. Instead he took a private test at home on the Sunday and despite being in the paddock on Friday and Saturday, the rest of the world didn’t know about his positive test for a further 10 days.

            Are you telling me that isn’t suspicious?

          2. @joshgeake, all you stated here is confirming what Stroll/team already said. So why do you tell me to “ stop listening to the team’s PR statements and start looking at the facts“?
            According to you statements are factual. :P

            You might find it suspicious. I’d say ‘nothing to see here’.

          3. petebaldwin (@)
            21st October 2020, 12:22

            As you say, let’s “look at the facts.” Racing Point stated on Saturday (prior to Stroll testing positive for Covid) that he had felt unwell in Russia. He repeatedly tested negative both in Russia and then in Germany so it’s perfectly understandable that he didn’t think he had Covid.


            The only reasonable suspicions you could have would be that he tested positive prior to Sunday and is hiding this but I would be amazed if they’d be willing to take the risk to do this as if it came out, it would be an extremely serious incident.

          4. No, @petebaldwin, my point is he knew there was a good chance of testing positive and ran away before it hit the fan. Then, even after he knew, he kept it private for 10 days. Expect changes now.

          5. Well @joshgeake that speculation is not impossible though it starts from an assumption of guilt, but if we only go by the facts, then @petebaldwin and @coldfly are quite right that your speculation (well founded or not) is not fact either, so that we are for now left with what he and the team said. All sounds a bit tautological but there we are.

          6. @joshgeake you’re not really explaining how that is supposed to be particularly beneficial to Lance or what exactly he is meant to have gained though.

            If we take the version of events you are proposing, it starts with him having the previous negative test and the advice from his doctors that initially suggested he did not have covid-19 – i.e. his symptoms suggested that he was possibly suffering from something like a common rhinovirus, so at that point in time there’s no obvious reason why he’s going to think that he’s got covid-19.

            We then have the situation that he does not appear to have begun feeling more seriously unwell until Saturday, at which point the information we have to hand is that he went back to his cabin and stayed there until he went home on Sunday morning. We then have him being tested on Sunday – if the testing cycle was similar to that which he had previously, he probably would have received the positive result on Monday.

            Now, if that is the case, it’s hard to see how exactly not being tested by the FIA before that would have been particularly of benefit to Lance. He’s too ill to race, so doesn’t really lose anything from a positive diagnosis as he’s not going to drive anyway, and as any isolation period would fall between races, he’s not losing anything on that front either. Furthermore, if it seems that it was taking around 24 hours for samples to be taken, tested and then results provided back to Lance, that timing suggests he might not even get a test result until after the race had taken place.

            How exactly does he gain anything from this then? I don’t really see there being any particular benefit to him, or any particular incentive to want to hide a positive test result given that he arguably doesn’t really lose anything in the end.

    4. Timing. Perez tested positive at the start of the first race weekend of a double header. Then the next test which he hoped would allow him to race the next race came back positive again.

      Stroll had the luck that there wasn’t a race last weekend and only had one positive test. But he deserves no luck?

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        21st October 2020, 10:42

        Well Perez looked to quite possibly be heavily responsible for his case when he had the virus. As he had gone to see his family and there wee briefly some pictures of him and his family (very quickly removed) that were at some restaurant. He was pretty irresponsibly if he wanted to that seriously always be ready to race in this sport. I haven’t yet seen where Stroll could have got it from.

    5. Im surprised Perez has been beating stroll this year. I would think stroll senior would make sure that would never happen

    6. While it’s not Stroll’s fault, as the protocol is in place to catch fever and positive cases, but vast majority are asymptomatic transmitters.

      Aka, very fine looking healthy individuals who provide an absolutely splendid environment for the virus replicate itself and to spread.

      This is why a lockdown is needed and Singapore GP is cancelled this year.

  2. Pedro Andrade
    21st October 2020, 9:25

    This highlights well the need to wear masks even if you test negative. You may already be infected but still building up the infection and test negative, or you may be infected immediately following the test.

    1. Yep, and also, why doesn’t the FIA test when someone falls ill – it seems clear Stroll had enough symptoms of what could be COVID-19 to self-isolate, but I can only hope that new protocol for this weekend is to then test, and check the rest of his bubble as soon as possible, before they mingle with others, like a driver replacing him, rather than him flying home (private jet, I presume/hope?!) and getting a test done himself.

      Also, why it was even a question of him taking part in qualifying!? Clearly, there is/were some gaps in the F1 test regime!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        21st October 2020, 12:14

        I agree – some drivers would have battled on and said “I feel fine – let’s race.” That could have potentially resulted in a large outbreak within the F1 bubble. If someone feels ill, the protocol should be you immediately self-isolate and are tested before being allowed back in.

  3. It just shows that tests are never 100% accurate as the infection builds. Kind of worrying to be honest. I hope this means any driver that tests negative but is still unwell doesn’t feel the need to show up to the paddock in the morning before symptoms get worse, I’m still not entirely clear if he went to the paddock first thing in the morning or not? The pressure of ‘being there’ for a GP weekend is quite strong I would guess. The fact he only had an upset stomach complicates things somewhat. Hope the mechanics are ok.

    1. @john-h, his press statement seems to say he felt ill and thus self-isolated, certainly suggesting he didn’t go to the paddock first (and since that is common sense, I hope it’s true until we hear differently, I think).

      As I say above, seems like the protocol should be geared towards getting an expedited test when someone feels need to self-isolate for own and others safety, because had he been tested positively then and there, it would have been quite clear he wasn’t racing, and his bubble needed to check themselves, as well as his transport home.

  4. Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said during the Eifel Grand Prix weekend that Stroll began to feel unwell while in Russia for the previous round of the championship, which took place on September 27th.

    Yes, and he also has a negative test prior to the Eifel GP, seems important to mention that no?

  5. Good for Stroll to make such a rapid recovery. I bet Otmar was already on the phone with Nico who certainly hoped for more positive news.

  6. Wow. Both drivers in the same tema test positive at some point. I wonder if its acyively circulating within that team now.

  7. “On Saturday morning I started to feel unwell and woke up with an upset stomach. I followed the FIA protocol and self-isolated in my motorhome and did not re-enter the paddock.

    “I wasn’t fit to race so I flew home early Sunday morning. As I was still feeling under the weather I took a Covid test on Sunday morning.

    and what about the fact he was shown in the garage during the quali?
    I am quite sure i saw his pink head looking at the screens.. maybe a picture would confirm this..

  8. Funny how every story on athletes testing positive for COVID focusses on how quickly they’ll test negative and be back in the sport. There is not a single sentence in the above article on the virus being a deadly threat to Stroll. Wonder why? Pretty interesting for the worst virus since the Black Plague.

    1. Because healthy 20 to 35 year olds have nothing to fear. It’s the people around them that might get infected and develop serious symptoms.

    2. @warren2185 not true.. several storys about athletes catching Covid and resulting in serious consequences.
      Just use Google is your bubble is to small to notice other news.

      There are now consistent reports of athletes reporting persistent and residual symptoms many weeks to months after initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms include cough, tachycardia and extreme fatigue.

      etc etc..

      1. I’m addressing news stories on athletes very seldom mention anything other than “when they’ll test negative”. This article does the exact same thing. Instead of speculating on return dates, they could just as easily speculate on his length of his stay in a hospital. Why the one-sided speculation? I know why.

    3. Could be because these atheletes are super humans. They are in the prime of their health and regulate their food consumption and work out a lot. Hence they recover fast.

      Virus is more devastating for common folks. It seems.

  9. The team once with such promise now seems to be the biggest Source of negativity in Grand Prix today. From the shame of the Vettle hire in how it all went down is a clear exhibit of how NOT to manage your team. Keeping a driver who is almost out of his league is mindless. Hiring one of the all time best was a sloppy mess. Then the Brakeductgate issue and subsequent fines. All ugly stuff from the great looking racing team. The pink BTW racer is sharp. Unlike the team management….maybe hiring Vettle will become their demise.

  10. I’m uncertain how Stroll could have gone from isolating in a motorhome at the circuit, via a flight, to his home without creating an infection risk for those around him during the transition. People travelling while ill is obviously a perpetuating factor in the pandemic. Shouldn’t he have waited out his 10 days isolation wherever he was when he first developed symptoms?

    1. why do you think he rushed home instead of hanging around the circuit for another test?

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