Racing Level say they can’t do any extra to guard in opposition to coronavirus, regardless of driver Lance Stroll testing positive after the final Grand Prix.
Stroll was confirmed to have coronavirus after the Eifel GP, the place he didn’t race as a result of he was unwell, however he was not examined on the occasion.
Workforce principal Otmar Szafnauer stated: “If I believed our course of was improper, I might change it.
“I am not going to do anything. There’s nothing else to do.”
Szafnauer’s explanations of Stroll’s signs have been inconsistent.
On the Nurburgring occasion two weeks in the past, he stated Stroll had first felt unwell with an upset abdomen on the previous race in Russia and in Germany he couldn’t race as a result of he had “flu-like signs and [was] simply not effectively in himself and could not train, along with a tummy bug”.
Fever, fatigue and diarrhoea are three of the attainable signs of Covid-19 listed on the web sites of the World Well being Organisation and the US authorities’s Centre for Illness Management.
However when challenged in a information convention on Thursday as to why the group didn’t contemplate Covid-19 was a chance, Szafnauer stated: “I am unsure he had flu-like signs. He had a abdomen upset.”
When it was identified to him that he had stated Stroll did have flu-like signs, Szafnauer stated: “Properly, if I did, I misspoke. He had a abdomen upset and he is had it constantly. Lance referred to as his physician. I am not a doctor.”
It additionally emerged the physician Stroll consulted was not on web site in Germany however was the household personal physician in Switzerland, and that they spoke by phone.
F1 has strict protocols to minimise the dangers of coronavirus, however Szafnauer revealed he had tried to influence Stroll to participate within the race weekend when the motive force stated he wished to withdraw on the morning of qualifying.
“The physician instructed him the signs aren’t Covid signs, he did not really feel as much as coming into the paddock,” Szafnauer stated. “I attempted to get him to run on Saturday and to race. I stated, ‘Come on, upset abdomen, you had it in Russia. Come and race.’ And he stated: ‘I do not really feel as much as it.'”
Stroll flew dwelling to Switzerland on the morning of the race with out being examined, however took a take a look at when he arrived again. This returned a optimistic outcome.
“Hindsight is a superb factor,” Szafnauer stated. “However he examined twice post-Russia detrimental. The signs had been there post-Russia. However on the time, with the knowledge we had, it was pointless. It did not even come into my thoughts, go and do a take a look at. Even the take a look at on Sunday was scheduled lengthy, way back.”
Szafnauer defended the group’s Covid procedures, insisting they “take a look at greater than some other enterprise on the planet”, and saying all staff are examined twice every week, and anybody travelling to races is examined as well as on their return to the UK.
Groups are obliged to report any optimistic instances after an occasion to governing physique the FIA, however Racing Level failed to do that till they introduced information of Stroll’s take a look at on Wednesday this week – greater than every week after the outcome.
The FIA, which has the ability to bar rivals from occasions for breaches of its Covid code, has issued them a reminder of their tasks, however will take no additional motion.
Stroll, who revealed his optimistic take a look at on Wednesday, stated he had examined detrimental in an additional take a look at at the start of this week and could be racing at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
Racing Level have Nico Hulkenberg, who changed Stroll on the Nurburgring, on stand-by on the Algarve monitor in Portugal in case of any issues.
Stroll’s father Lawrence, who owns the group, has additionally contracted coronavirus.
The Canadian billionaire examined detrimental on the Thursday of the Eifel Grand Prix, when he was on the Aston Martin manufacturing facility within the UK, however took an additional take a look at concurrently his son in Switzerland on Sunday, 11 October. This got here again optimistic.
The group say Lawrence Stroll, who’s 61, is symptom-free.
Lance Stroll is the second Racing Level driver to contract coronavirus this yr after Sergio Perez missed the 2 Silverstone races in the summertime when he examined optimistic after a visit to Mexico to see his mom.
No different group has had a driver take a look at optimistic, though a quantity have had optimistic instances amongst workers.