Lando Norris, McLaren, Imola, 2020

Norris announces he has tested positive for Covid-19

2021 F1 season

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Lando Norris has announced he has tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the fourth Formula 1 driver to do so.

“Yesterday I lost my sense of taste and smell so immediately self-isolated and took a test,” Norris posted on social media.

“It came back as positive, so I’ve told everyone that I’ve been in contact with and will be self-isolating for the next 14 days.

“I feel alright and have no other symptoms but I just wanted to let you all know.”

Norris’s McLaren team confirmed he will isolated in Dubai. “Lando Norris tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday in Dubai where he is currently on holiday ahead of a planned training camp,” said the team in a statement.

Norris is the fourth Formula 1 driver to test positive for coronavirus. Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton all tested positive during the 2020 season, forcing them to miss races.

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Notable positive Covid-19 cases in F1

DateIndividual/sTeam/otherNotes
18/03/2020One team memberMcLaren
30/07/2020Sergio PerezRacing PointMissed British and 70th Anniversary grands prix
08/10/2020Six team membersMercedes
13/10/2020Two team membersRenault
21/10/2020Lawrence StrollRacing Point
21/10/2020Lance StrollRacing PointMissed Eifel Grand Prix
30/10/2020Four team membersRacing Point
11/11/2020Simon RobertsWilliams
16/11/2020Mario IsolaPirelli
26/11/2020Jonathan WheatleyRed Bull
1/12/2020Lewis HamiltonMercedesMissed Sakhir Grand Prix
5/1/2021Lando NorrisMcLaren

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 36 comments on “Norris announces he has tested positive for Covid-19”

    1. Lets hope he does not develop more permanent effects as some do. Its a nasty virus.
      And of course he will be healthy before the season preparations start.

      1. The virus itself is fairly mundane, it’s immune systems going haywire that is the problem. He’ll be fine barring some ultra rare genetic quirk or undiagnosed vit D deficiency.

        1. You know Lewis wasn’t that fit anymore expect a big drop in fitness and it last a while after that.
          If you unlucky your midrifmussle is damaged which is really bad! To get back from that cost you months! I have seen a bootcamp instructor and personal trainer going down in June and even today he is still not 100% fit. (he had it very bad almost died when his fever went up a lot)

    2. He was in Dubai also last January, so this timing can’t be a coincidence. Nevertheless, has he been in the UAE this whole time since the Abu Dhabi GP, or did he travel back-and-forth to Europe in between?

      1. Could be that friends / family either visited him or he visited them during the holidays @jerejj. I guess it’s a bit of a thing to spend the winters in the middle east nowadays – much like spending the winter in Spain used to be for many in Europe.

        Whatever the case, I do hope Lando gets through this and it doesn’t disrupt his preparation for the season. That certainly was not on my list of things to want from 2021. Does highlight how unlikely it is that this year will go through without a few races being cancelled or postponed.

        1. @bascb Same concerning the second paragraph. This indeed highlights how unlikely a normal season is as the virus is still around. Yes, the hot desert climate zone is favorable in the Northern Hemisphere winter. Somewhat weird that Spain used to be the place despite being relatively cool at this time of year.

          1. Relatively cool is still a lot better than freezing cold and wet + windy in northern Europe though @jerejj :-)

    3. First off, I hope Lando (and any others who he was in contact with) recovers soon and that he is back to fighting fitness soon.

      Secondly, as a Dubai resident, this is exactly what I (and others I know and work with) was worried about. Our borders remained open over the festive period and cases have spiked…a relative term as the numbers as still nowhere near as bad as those coming out of the UK. Many residents were assuming that tourists have brought the virus with them from other places which aren’t handing things as well as the UAE is and then tested positive here, which is what Lando appears to have done.

      1. I guess the testing on entry doesn’t catch everyone travelling in to enjoy the holidays with friends and family in the mild climate @geemac.

        My guess is that Lando could well have spent the last week or so already in the UAE preparing, and possibly even heeding a period with restricted movement ahead of the planned training camp that is mentioned.

        1. Didn’t Hamilton also catch Covid from a stay in Dubai ahead of the Bahrain double header by the way?

          1. @bascb Yes, although his trip to Dubai ahead of the region triple-header in the first place was somewhat questionable as it caused unnecessary additional traveling for him (despite the relatively short distance between Bahrain and the UAE), and since he was going to be in the UAE soon anyway for the Abu Dhabi GP.
            @geemac

    4. Sad news

      20% of the current Grand Prix starting grid have been impacted by Covid. That’s an unacceptable number regardless of how it happened. The very pinnacle of each organization impacted with Covid. With the effort put into safety I find it concerning how many have become ill.

      The very system used by all in F1 may need an updating as to protocol. Somebody got too close and they surely must not have known they carried the virus. That’s how dangerous it is for you nay sayers.
      I hope his version presents itself on the mild side as the others all have.
      This news along with the Australian situation raises concerns that need answers too. How can people attend an event where the known rate of infection is already way over desired levels? Who would be so foolish? With the British nation back in lockdown today things long term may find their plans impacted by the short term rise in the virus. Unknown also is how long is short term is with a virus that’s getting better at what it does.
      So how about an updated 2021 plan from the FIA on how to be safe and hold an event. At some point teams will struggle will little inbound revenue do to no ticket buyers in nations with rising Covid numbers. Cant pretend it’s OK any longer while it’s not. So is there a modified plan for how the 2021 season can actually happen?

      1. I guess the positive view is: they are bubbles, and while the season was going, it didn’t spread through multiple bubbles, containing any outbreak.

        But indeed, it still seems a high percentage, given there are sports (I read about baseball, or was that basketball not having a single case?) that ran and had hardly any cases. Soccer/football did, but they have two-weekly games, and two 11 player teams on the field+umpire team, and are a lot of teams in general. It seems the drivers/top management might be a bit too unrestricted in their external interactions.

        1. @bosyber – Football’s problem isn’t that there are 11 players and several games a week. It’s more down to the fact that lots of the players have absolutely no self-control and can’t behave as adults. There have been countless stories of them breaking lockdown rules repeatedly but they’ve given a template apology statement to read out by their clubs, the clubs state “this will be dealt with internally” and ultimately, nothing is done about it.

          Some F1 drivers have made a few mistakes with their decisions but there have been no reports that they’ve behaved anything like as badly as many footballers have.

          1. Guess it shows I am not an avid watcher of that sport @petebaldwin, hence me giving them benefit of doubt. Still point remains that it’s not a small amount of people, esp. looking at the drivers, that have contracted covid in F1.

      2. @Holmzini Maybe the FIA should prohibit any additional travelling between events (especially those on subsequent weekends by individuals (drivers or other team members) without a justifiable/understandable reason such as a funeral, medical stuff a la Norris between Austria 2 and Hungary, birth, etc. I’m more so referring to the unnecessary back-and-forth trips Bottas and Leclerc did very early into last season. They nor anyone else appeared to have done those again later, though, but still.
        Overall, I share the same sentiment with you 100%.

        1. I get the idea, but the FIA do not control individuals. It really is there responsibility as adults to behave appropriately @jerejj when the season is not taking place. Anyway, see my comment below as to how I feel about this news, I agree with your sentiments.

            1. Could the FIA argue that they are “bringing the sport into disrepute”?

    5. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      5th January 2021, 17:20

      Like others I hope he has no long term hangovers from this.

    6. I’m not sure someone should be on holiday at the moment, especially travelling from the UK. My wife’s mother who has dementia is currently in hospital in Germany, and we are not allowed to travel there for obvious reasons from the UK.
      So I don’t know how to feel about this to be honest. I really like Lando, but no ‘cheeky chappy’ tweets are enough, seems pretty irresponsible to be going on holidays at the moment.

    7. Out of respect for Lando, I’m not mocking his angry outburst for the next 14 days.

    8. Get well Mr. Lando, and let’s see a nice and successful pairing with Ricciardo at next season! I’m quite sure that you still not had that lucky season, so there is more to come :)

    9. Dean Franklin
      6th January 2021, 4:10

      No excuse for the wealthy to be catching COVID when they can have everything delivered to them securely and safely.

      It’s not like they’re working in a supermarket being exposed constantly.

      1. Perez caught it from his private chef

    10. People get this Virus so easily, even the geekiest asocial F1 driver got it.

      Good thing he is young and fit.

      1. Perez caught it from his private chef

    11. disregard, response to poster above

    12. well, at least he doesn’t have to waste/wear a mask next season :)

      1. That’s not even true. While he will have built up his antibodies and will probably temporarily be ‘immune’ to catching the virus again, it hasn’t been determined how long this immunity will last. Let’s just hope he recovers fully from the virus with no complications first of all.

        1. @keithedin I was very cynical about how long my immunity would last (I had COVID in March 2020) but got called up to be an antibody donor, so did for 5 months until my veins finally got too mangled for it in November. I asked at the time why my antibody levels remained so high and it turns out it’s because I live in Newham, which is the UK’s worst affected area, so am continuously exposed.

          So Lando’s got some hope of it lasting, given he lives on ol’ plague island… (although of course a mask will still be obligatory)

          Hoping he doesn’t get any of my side effects. (I also had the young person’s neurological damage/sense impairment version)

          1. utmost respect for your contribution and sorry that you have side effect, I hope it will clear soon.
            cheers

    13. Leaked transcript of what Lando actually said back in Portugal:
      What was that? He…he just did the same move like what he did to Max back in practice! I mean, what the hell? He can’t do that like, come on…
      Finally leaked after so long.

    14. McLaren 1-1 Racing Point: Huge fist fight between both teams, that started off when Norris and Stroll had a fist fight. Two players from each team get sent off for “angry team radio” conduct.
      Racing Point 2-1 McLaren: In the last minute of the game, Perez scores the winning goal and celebrates in front of Norris as an act of revenge and tells him “SO WHAT NOW HUH?” followed with celebrations from Ocon and Hulkenberg.

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