Racing Point confirms it had four other Covid-19 cases

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Racing Point has confirmed it has had a total of seven positive cases of Covid-19 among its staff since the season began.

Details of three of the cases were already known. Drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll have missed races after contracting the virus. Team co-owner Lawrence Stroll also tested positive for Covid-19 around the same time as his son. All have since produced negative tests and returned to their roles.

Speaking in today’s FIA press conference, the team’s CEO Otmar Szafnauer confirmed the team has had four other cases among the rest of its team.

“[There’s] two drivers, the team owner and a handful of other people that were tested at the factory,” said Szafnauer. “And that’s it. So in total, I think we’re [at] seven.”

“We don’t name people for obvious reasons as to who tested positive and we don’t name their roles either, because then you can pick out who it is,” he added. “We’ve got to respect their own confidentiality, they don’t want everybody to know. The FIA doesn’t say either and we report to the FIA.”

Szafnauer was asked last week if a Racing Point engineer had tested positive for the virus, which he denied at the time.

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“So to be clear, no engineers, two drivers who we’ve told everybody [about], the team owner, and in total, there were seven,” he said today. “So there’s four further ones.

“They range from people in our marketing department, riggers, laminators, only seven in total. But we’re not going to say who it is, we’ve got to respect their confidentiality.

“I was asked a direct question, ‘did any of the engineers test positive’ and the answer is ‘no’. I thought the reason that question was asked is because the engineers work closely with the drivers. None of them test positive and none were close contacts.”

Two of the positive cases were team members who work on Sergio Perez’s car including one mechanic, said the driver. The pair tested positive following the Russian Grand Prix and were absent during the subsequent race weekend at the Nurburgring.

“It was a very unfortunate situation when that happened,” said Perez. “We had the I think two members in my car.”

Perez missed two races in August after testing positive for Covid 19. “This virus can get very serious,” he said. “So for me, the most important was to have them back fully recovered. They are back, both of my guys, and that was the most important thing.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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14 comments on “Racing Point confirms it had four other Covid-19 cases”

  1. Obviously this team is doing very bad things regarding Covid-19.

  2. The arrogance of this team is beyond belief.

    1. How? Otmar says they reported it to the FIA and replacement staff were sent to the track. NO DIFFERENT to Mercedes team cases.

      1. I’ll also add, RP are the ONLY team testing every staff member at the factory every week. Out their own pocket.

  3. Otmar did say “we report to the FIA” so this hopefully means that they are following all the rules and reporting cases. Just because they don’t tell the press all the details doesn’t mean they are hiding anything. Doctor confidentiality and all that.

  4. Otmar – ‘So to be clear, no engineers’

    Sergio – Two of the positive cases were team members who work on Sergio Perez’s car including one mechanic, said the driver (Perez).

    So either mechanics are not engineers or someone has got their story wrong.

    1. @mrfill Mechanics are indeed not engineers. They’re different roles, though with less separation in their duties than in the 1980s when the distinct categories were first laid out.

  5. Racing Plague.

  6. Am i the only one that is thinking the world has lost their minds over all this. Not to say it isn’t serious and we shouldn’t be taking precautions like we are, but every time i read a story about someone getting it, it reads like they got a death sentence. Oh no……a few young healthy people caught Covid in the middle of a global Covid pandemic. They recovered and they’re just fine. Guess what, it’s going to happen again.

    1. @lancer033 Covid causes similar damage to lungs as pneumonia but is much more aggressive, and like pneumonia the damage is permanent. So ‘healthy’ young people are no longer healthy they live the rest of their lives with reduced lung capacity and it a has been found to cause permanent heart damage aswell.
      On top of that scientists are still trying to find out how it mutates into different strains how long it can survive outside the body.

    2. @lancer033 Permament damage to any of several body systems has been recorded in 10% of people who did not get hospitalised (and 78% of those who have). There are risk factors*, but having no risk factors is not the same as having no possibility of getting the damage. It’s not a worthwhile risk.

      Obviously more people are going to get infected before the vaccine, especially if the paddock continues to be as careless of COVID-19 protocols as it has been in the last few weeks. However, caution would allow there to be fewer people affected, and fewer people risk permanent damage (or indeed death).

      * -Known risk factors in people who didn’t visit hospital are being over 50, being female (if 50 or under), asthma, being overweight and having many symptoms of COVID-19 (of any severity) in the first week of the illness.

  7. Sort of get the impression that RP seem to think rules are for other people.

    1. How? It is no different to Mercedes having positives and sending replacements. The FIA were informed as it says in the article and their positive tests were from tests back in the UK. RP are the only team testing ALL of their staff at their factory weekly.

    2. @johnrkh No – they (and the rest of the paddock, by the look of it) are treating it like they treat FIA regulations. Meet them to the letter and then do whatever within that constraints gets what one believes will be the best result. Of course, this creates variety of approach… …and also, the “play to the line without crossing it” approach is an analogy that works better in sport than medicine.

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