F1 News: Racing Point explains timeline of Stroll’s COVID-19 test

The Racing Point Formula 1 team has clarified the timeline around Lance Stroll’s positive COVID-19 test at the Eifel F1 Grand Prix and insisted the team followed all the FIA protocols.

Stroll missed the Nurburgring race, having felt unwell since the previous event in Sochi and then been struck by a stomach upset in Germany.

He had tested negative for COVID-19 on the Tuesday before the race weekend but then had a positive test on the Sunday after returning home to Switzerland.

The Canadian confirmed on social media on Wednesday that he’d had the positive result but had since tested negative and will thus race in Portimao.

The events have led to questions about how the team responded to his symptoms and why he wasn’t tested earlier in the Eifel GP weekend.

However it’s understood that the FIA has accepted that the team followed its protocols and relied on medical advice.

In a statement issued today team principal Otmar Szafnauer outlined the timeline.

“As stated by Lance on social media this morning, Racing Point can confirm that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday October 11,” he said.

“Lance had left the team bubble in Germany on Saturday October 10 as he was unable to compete due to the effect of a recurring stomach upset.

“Lance had first reported an upset stomach during the Russian Grand Prix week and subsequently tested negative for COVID-19 several times, tests taken in line with both the FIA and Racing Point’s own protocols.

“He also tested negative before arrival in Germany in the official pre-event test for the Eifel Grand Prix. The upset stomach symptoms returned on Saturday which forced Lance to withdraw from the race and stay in his motorhome away from the paddock.”

Szafnauer stressed that the team sought medical advice at the time: “He consulted with a doctor who did not believe his symptoms indicated COVID-19 and did not advise a test was necessary. Based on this clinical assessment, at the time there was no requirement to inform the FIA as to the nature of the illness.

“Lance then flew home to Switzerland on a private plane on Sunday morning. In line with Racing Point’s enhanced testing protocol, under which all team members are tested on return from a Grand Prix, Lance took a COVID-19 test at home and received a positive result the next day.

“He continued to isolate for ten days from the date of the test, in line with local regulations. He returned a negative test on Monday this week and will travel to the Portuguese Grand Prix.“

Szafnauer said no other team members were affected.

“All members of the Racing Point team at the Eifel Grand Prix returned to the UK via a private charter flight and all tested negative upon their arrival, and again in their pre-event test for the Portuguese Grand Prix.“

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