Wolff completes quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19

2021 F1 season

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has become the latest senior figure in Formula 1 to test positive for Covid-19.

Wolff, 49, confirmed to Austrian broadcaster ORF yesterday he had contracted the virus but has already completed his quarantine period following the diagnosis. He is said to have had “the mildest of symptoms”.

He joins a growing number of notable paddock figures to have tested positive for Covid-19. Five drivers have had the virus, including Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, who missed the Sakhir Grand Prix as a result.

Lando Norris, who contracted Covid-19 earlier this year, is now symptom-free. The most recent positive case was Charles Leclerc, but the Ferrari driver is due to return to the cockpit at Fiorano this week.

Six other Mercedes staff also tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring last October.

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
25/1/2021Toto WolffMercedes

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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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26 comments on “Wolff completes quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19”

  1. That is scary how easy people get covid-19 I hope all got vaccinated as fast possible!

    1. Indeed easy to get when travelling a lot and meeting many other people (hence the travel and social distancing measures in most countries).
      I hope though that the first vaccinations go to people who are likely to get sicker and who now fill up the hospitals.

    2. @macleod Yes, although F1 people are yet to get vaccinated.

    3. @macleod – there is actually nothing “scary” in how people get Covid-19. The SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission routes are no different from many other other common respiratory viral infections- including colds, the flu and bronchiolitis.

  2. I really believe that F1 people are getting it on purpose so that they dont get sick in the middle of the season.

    1. I don’t think that is very smart because Covid-19 could kill a healty person so your throwing a dice.

      1. Not very smart (numbers game with one’s health/life) but I would not be surprised if the Marko Summer Camp idea (which was fake) surfaced again in some teams.
        Especially RBR could ask themselves what the risks to their season might be if Max catches COVID-19 mid season, knowing that Hamilton and Leclerc are most likely not to get it again before then end of 2021.
        @macleod

        1. Also @coldfly, @macleod, TurboBT, research has shown that getting Covid-19 now woudn’t really protect them even for the whole season (protection seems to last forapp. 4-6 months). And especially with hardly any symptoms, it seems questionable whether it would protect them against newer, more virulent strains of the virus at all.
          And they might still be transmitting it too, meaning they would still be barred from entry of the pitlane to avoid infecting others (there is no conclusive evidence that they cannot carry the virus, despite not getting sick anymore when protected by anti bodies)

          1. This is false. Antibody strength is still increasing six months after infection and a British study with HCP that were infected duting the first wave found a 99% efficacy on protecting against symptomatic infection at least half a year apart.
            Besides, you don’t seem aware that there is a difference between sterilizing and protective immunity. Vaccine or not, all of us will likely get it a few times a lifetime; the idea is that in the future your immune system can handle it like a common cold virus instead of completely sabotating itself.

          2. While is plausible your body can jettison the virus so quickly it can’t mount an adaptive immune response, in practice even the shortest of asymptomatic cases will be in contact with Sars-cov-2 antigens for longer that it will br with any vaccine. The fact that these people have less neutralizing antibodies than the hospitalized doesn’t mean anything for future immunity.

          3. @bascb, Your right a houseworker who is helping a invialid friend of mine got Covid-19 in March but got it again in Augustus but the second time it was very hard for her she had to quit her job and is now in the disabled part of checks…

            @Post reader, please don’t say anything like that without proof! your right that your own immune system get it wrong that is when you healthy body get destroyed.

            your second reaction seems that Covid-19 is reacting different

          4. Yeah, I’ve heard of similar cases @macleod, really hope the houseworker pulls trough and recovers.

          5. Dear friends (@macleod, @bascb),
            Rather than summing up anecdotal evidence (notwithstanding how serious and impactful individual cases can be) I suggest you refer to the formal studies.
            A good one (not peer reviewed yet) is the SIREN study (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.13.21249642v1)

            The incidence density per 100,000 person days between June and November 2020 was 3.3 reinfections in the positive cohort, compared with 22.4 new PCR confirmed infections in the negative cohort. The adjusted odds ratio was 0.17 for all reinfections (95% CI 0.13-0.24) compared to PCR confirmed primary infections.

            Thus short term there is a 83% lower risk of (re)infection, and that is a conservative estimate (could be as high as 99%; read detail) as it excludes seroconversions in the negative cohort, and the positive cohort included subjects without a prior positive PCR test (i.e. first infection assumed).

          6. @coldfly, yes, certainly true. But I was not going on anecdotal evidence for saying that a previous infection would not be expected to give you immunity lasting for the whole F1 season. The same paper you mention makes a convincing case for there being a significant protection – as good as being vaccinated – for at least the short term: with median protective effect observed five months following primary infection

            But sadly not much more than 6 months, which would not qualify for long term protection and would not last you the whole F1 season.

            And if I remember it correctly, that same study also found no conclusive evidence either way about whether one could be a spreader for OTHERS and protection on the shorter end of the spectrum for those who have had Covid infections without symptoms.

          7. @bascb
            The reason they cannot make a statement beyond six months is because they don’t have the data yet (study period June-November).
            From memory they have no reason to believe that the risk increases after 6 months, and suggested that the the protection would at least last a year. Let’s wait for the follow up results in June ;)

          8. I am not going to argue here in detail, since I have not studied anything of this close enough for that.
            But I do remember that there actually are indications that especially non symptomatical Covid invections might have less protective / less long lasting level of protection.

          9. there actually are indications that especially non symptomatical Covid invections might have less protective / less long lasting level of protection.

            correct, @BasCB.
            That also came out in this study. Those cases (even cases who never had symptoms/positive test, but with antibodies) are included in the 83%. Those who were PCR tested during the first infection actually had a much higher protection rate against a second infection (during at least 6 months).

  3. I have an opinion
    25th January 2021, 9:36

    Is this the reason why Hamilton had not yet entered into a new contract with Daimler-Benz? (I hope this satisfies the “every article must mention the Hamilton contract” requirement.)

  4. I was just about to suggest that maybe lewis contract has not been finalized due to Toto having Covid.

    1. There are many possible reasons about his contract not being announced yet. I’m thinking that it will not be announced yet until Mercedes’ car launch day, or probably Lewis thinking he had done enough after Turkey 2020.

  5. This just in, Hamilton tests positive for outlandish contract requests.

    Meanwhile they have a driver who is a lot cheaper and can overtake Bottas just aswell.

    1. @jureo Haha I think Hamilton will be back :)

  6. Aah, so that is the reason for the contract delays! So boring..

    On a serious note, happy to know that Toto is well again.

  7. Old style journalism there with “Wolff, 49, confirmed……”. Great.

    I look forward to the age of all participants being in the identifier phrase. It will be fun. “Ecclestone,90, says that Fred, 18, the new driver at …..”

    1. Well, given the strong link between age and the typical severity of coronavirus symptoms I can see why age is a relevant detail to include in the article.

  8. So many people setting themselves up to be hugely disappointed. Again.

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