A member of the Mercedes F1 team has tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the team to make changes. The unidentified team member has been isolated as per FIA protocol.
Mercedes has not confirmed whether any other members of the team have been placed in quarantine or whether they are being evaluated for the virus. There has been no indication from the team whether the team member had contact with either of its drivers.
Speaking in response to the news, Lewis Hamilton encouraged vigilance and persistence with Covid-19 protocols, and said the loss of a crew member for this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring could have impacts.
“Naturally it is sad to hear that for the guys that work so hard,” he said.
“They work so hard to stay safe and to be here at the weekend so it is definitely a concern. It is obviously important for everyone around the world to be continuously reminded that this thing has not disappeared. It is still here, we still need to continue to follow protocols and wear a mask and keep our hands clean, keep our distances.
“I can’t say what it is going to do to the weekend. We have a lot of great people working in our team, it is not just about one person. We will try and make him proud this weekend. It’s going to take a lot of work to make sure that we continue on without any disturbances.”
“We are all trying to do the best we can not to get it,” added teammate Valtteri Bottas. “It’s unfortunate one team member got it but I fully trust how the team is handling everything, doing everything we can to make sure it stops there.”
The positive Covid-19 test is the first of its kind in the Formula 1 paddock since Racing Point driver Sergio Perez tested positive in July, subsequently missing two races as a result. To date, the series has conducted 50,000 Covid-19 tests, with 26 positive cases confirmed.