Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Leclerc is fifth F1 driver to test positive for Covid-19

2021 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at his home in Monaco, his team has confirmed.

A statement from Ferrari said Leclerc’s result came as part of routine testing and that he had received the positive result yesterday.

“Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver Charles Leclerc has tested positive for Covid-19,” the team stated.

“In accordance with the team’s protocols, Charles is tested regularly and yesterday, the result from his latest test came back positive.”

The team said Leclerc had mild symptoms and was isolating at his home. “Charles notified us immediately and has informed everyone he has been in close contact with in the last few days. He is currently feeling okay with mild symptoms and is now self-isolating at home in Monaco.”

In a social media post, Leclerc said he had had prior contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus.

“I want to let you know that I have tested positive for Covid-19,” he wrote. “I am regularly checked according to my team’s protocols. Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with. A subsequent test I took has come back positive.

“I am feeling okay and have mild symptoms. I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities.”

Leclerc is the fifth Formula 1 driver to test positive for Covid-19. Lando Norris announced last week he had tested positive after noticing a loss of taste and smell. During last season Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez all tested positive for the virus, 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
13/1/2021Charles LeclercFerrari

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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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  • 30 comments on “Leclerc is fifth F1 driver to test positive for Covid-19”

    1. Oh. Let’s hope the best.

    2. ONE QUARTER OF THE STARTING GRID WITH OR HAS HAD COVID….so far.

      Still thinks it’s just the flu? Don’t be a dope make effort to get the vaccine. ASAP

      Hope you get through this Charley Clerk

      1. Which vaccine? That’s impossible with the RNA technology, so I reckon fake news.

      2. All the same testing has been performed as with any vaccine. The long lead time is usually paperwork and red tape, not science. This time, billions has been spent speeding all those processes up.

        Please don’t spread misinformation.

      3. Always intriguing when people counter medical research based on “ I know people ”.

      4. lmao. In the first week in my country we had exactly two people that had the worst known side effect, a severe allergic reaction, out of like 40.000 shots total. And that’s why you have to stay for fifteen minutes so they can immediately treat you. Both people are fine, by the way, since it’s not really anything you suffer from outside the reaction.

        But hey, I’m sure you “know people”

    3. Wishing for a speedy recovery. It’s lucky for him that it’s happened in the off-season, fingers crossed he doesn’t have longer term symptoms.

    4. Hoping he’ll be ok and so far it sounds like that will be the case.

    5. Get better soon Charles.

      I would have thought that given the chances of catching Covid are pretty high, the drivers are better off catching it now, getting it out the way and building up the antibodies – it would have a far more profound affect on their season if they have to miss 1 or several races (see Stroll, Perez, Hamilton).

      1. Yeah that would be my ‘strategy’ as well. F1 personnel might be able to get the vaccine before the start of the season as well though.

      2. Given that there seems to be correlation between Covid in young, otherwise healthy athletes and viral myocarditis (up to 1/2 of the study group examined appeared to be affected at some point) and that the cause of the length and severity of the myocarditis is not yet understood, and given the extreme conditions that F1 drivers place their hearts in it would seem beyond risky to purposely become infected with Covid until these complications are better understood.

        https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2770645

        1. Fairly common and widespread adenoviruses and enteroviruses also cause viral myocarditis, and chances are all of us has been infected and asymptomatically developed such conditions multiple times in the past. In fact, there’s a non-trivial chance that you develop myocarditis alongside *any* symptomatic viral infection, so it’s up in the air even if this sort of symptomatology is particular in some way to SARS-CoV-2.

          The file drawer effect and overall issues with the null hypothesis are incredibly widespread in scientific publications these days, especially in hot research fields such as these. So… not worth obsessing over it. But feel free to watch something like the Brazilian football league, where literally every player has had Covid-19 already, and see if any of them will drop dead on the field.

          1. While many of us may have contracted adenoviruses and/or enteroviruses in our lives, only around 10% of those infections will result in effects on the heart and an even lower percentage will have clinical symptoms.

    6. Critical team staff should plan when to get it, or get the shot as close as possible to winter testing to avoid getting barred from competing.

      1. Even with a vaccin its unclear if you can be contagious for others.. So in a positive test you still will be barred

        1. Erikje if you have antibodies for a patogen even if you have it there is a strong chance you won’t test positive as the patogen count is very low.

          1. @peartree I think the point is that Vaccinated people still contract the virus. The vaccine just helps the body get rid of it faster. The question is if vaccinated infected people can still transmit the disease even if they don’t show symptoms.

            1. @f1osaurus Sure, they will still get it and they might still test positive and be contagious but a lot less, by having antibodies they are less likely to do all the above.

    7. Maybe just maybe they are getting covid on purpose so they can become immune from it and next season don’t miss out any race because of testing positive?

      1. @amg44 that is what I was thinking. May be a great idea.

      2. Maybe. But patients from wave 1 have been shown to have no antibodies 5 months after recovery.
        So the F1 season is probably too long for this to work.

      3. @amg44 that would be incredibly foolish for a number of reasons. Firstly, the disease can be very serious with long lasting effects, even in healthy young people. In the UK there had been a notable increase in the numbers of young people getting covid very badly in the latest wave. The long term consequences will be felt over the coming years and months, regardless of the success of vaccines.

        Secondly, the immunity conferred by actually catching the disease is not something to be relied upon. There have been several cases of confirmed reinfection and a very recent study showed that immunity lasted 5 months on average (in people who developed antibodies). The vaccine should create a much stronger, longer lasting level of immunity.

        Finally, getting infected intentionally would likely risk infecting others too, which could lead to them getting serious illness. Ethically, it’s a big no no.

      4. That brings a great risk so very foolish as every body reacts different ! See @frood19 comments.
        So you don’t want to be sick vaccine is much better!

    8. Those in F1 will be tested regularly, unlike many others. Thus the likelihood of detecting you have Covid, albeit you might have no symptoms, is raised.

      For me however, the number of (fit, young) drivers now getting Covid is a sign of how prevalent this virus has become.

      Thankfully thus far their symptoms have been manageable. Fingers crossed for the future.

      1. These drivers also have a more active lifestyle than us mere mortals.
        I’ve been working from home since March while these drivers are out there travelling the world, doing sponsor events… so not really surprising they are the ones getting COVID-19 and not me.

    9. Hopefully he’ll make a full and complete recovery quickly. 25% of drivers is quite a high figure although I guess that gets to be a more “Public” figure than perhaps those working in their factories etc.

      Given the extremely high rates in the UK, I’d not be surprised if some of the teams factories have been impacted.

      1. Racing Point’s had seven known cases, four of whom were not named and may well be factory-based. They’re testing everyone every week, and it would not surprise me if all the other F1 teams had by this point established some sort of whole-team test protocol.

    10. Don’t mention Sakhir 2020 for two weeks.

      1. @Dave Why? What does it have to do with this matter?

        1. You know what he did to Max.

    Comments are closed.