Racing Level say they can’t do any extra to guard in opposition to coronavirus, regardless of driver Lance Stroll testing constructive 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.
Staff principal Otmar Szafnauer stated: “If I believed our course of was incorrect, I’d change it.
“I am not going to do the rest. There may be 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 that Stroll had first felt unwell with an upset abdomen on the previous race in Russia and that 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 staff didn’t contemplate Covid-19 was a chance, Szafnauer stated: “I am undecided 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: “Effectively, if I did, I misspoke. He had a abdomen upset and he is had it persistently. Lance referred to as his physician. I am not a doctor.”
It additionally emerged that the physician Stroll consulted was not on website in Germany however was the household non-public physician in Switzerland, and that they spoke by phone.
F1 has strict protocols to minimise the dangers of coronavirus, however Szafnauer revealed that he had tried to influence Stroll to participate within the race weekend when the motive force stated he needed 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 check when he arrived again. This returned a constructive end result.
“Hindsight is an excellent factor,” Szafnauer stated. “However he examined twice post-Russia destructive. The signs had been there post-Russia. However on the time, with the data we had, it was pointless. It did not even come into my thoughts, go and do a check. Even the check on Sunday was scheduled lengthy, way back.”
Szafnauer defended the staff’s Covid procedures, insisting they “check greater than another enterprise on the planet”, and saying all staff are examined twice per week, and anybody travelling to races is examined as well as on their return to the UK.
Groups are obliged to report any constructive instances after an occasion to governing physique the FIA, however Racing Level failed to do that till they introduced information of Stroll’s check on Wednesday this week – greater than per week after the end result.
The FIA, which has the facility to bar rivals from occasions for breaches of its Covid code, has issued them a reminder of their obligations, however will take no additional motion.
Stroll, who revealed his constructive check on Wednesday, stated he had examined destructive in an additional check at first of this week and can 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 observe in Portugal in case of any issues.
Stroll’s father Lawrence, who owns the staff, has additionally contracted coronavirus.
The Canadian billionaire examined destructive on the Thursday of the Eifel Grand Prix, when he was on the Aston Martin manufacturing unit within the UK, however took an additional check similtaneously his son in Switzerland on Sunday, 11 October. This got here again constructive.
The staff 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 constructive after a visit to Mexico to see his mom.
No different staff has had a driver check constructive, though a quantity have had constructive instances amongst workers.