Lance Stroll has revealed that he returned a positive test for coronavirus following Formula 1's Eifel Grand Prix.

The Racing Point driver missed the last round in Germany after falling unwell, with Nico Hulkenberg stepping in to fill the seat alongside Sergio Perez.

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer had said that Stroll had tested negative for COVID-19 on multiple occasions in the build up to the Nurburgring race.

Stroll revealed he tested positive for the virus on Sunday 11 October - race day at the Eifel Grand Prix - but is now negative and will participate in this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

“I just want to let everyone know that I recently tested positive for Covid-19 after the Eifel GP weekend,” Stroll said in a statement posted on Instagram.

“I am feeling 100 per cent and have since tested negative.

“To fill you all in on what happened, I arrived at the Nurburgring after testing negative in the normal pre-race tests.

“On Saturday morning I started to feel unwell and woke up with an upset stomach. I followed the FIA protocol and self-isolated in my motorhome and did not re-enter the paddock.

“I wasn’t fit to race so I flew home early Sunday morning. As I was still feeling under the weather I took a Covid test on Sunday evening.

“The next day the results came back positive, so I stayed at home self-isolating for the next 10 days. Luckily my symptoms were pretty mild.

“I was tested again on Monday this week and my results were negative. I feel in great shape and I can’t wait to be back with the team and to race in Portugal.”

Stroll is the second F1 driver to have contracted COVID-19 this season, after his teammate Perez was forced to skip both Silverstone races earlier this year.

After the last race, the FIA had insisted that Stroll's illness did not expose any loophole in F1's COVID-19 testing protocols. 

Due to taking a COVID-19 test on Tuesday and being negative, Stroll was allowed to enter the paddock on Thursday and Friday before he ultimately withdrew from the event on Saturday. 

With F1 personnel and drivers tested every five days for COVID-19, Stroll's next test came on Sunday - when he was positive.

"We don't feel there is any loophole," F1 race director Michael Masi said. "The requirement for Lance, or any other attendee on that matter, there are the various time requirements to test prior to entering the paddock, and then the follow up testing from that point.

"Based on the Tuesday test, his next test would have been Sunday morning to fulfil the requirements of the FIA COVID protocol. So that one is quite simple.

"With regards to Lance feeling ill, like any other driver, it's incumbent upon the driver and the competitor, in this case, Racing Point, to determine if they feel that their driver is not up to the capacity to drive the car, which they obviously did and chose to do yesterday.

"From the requirements within Appendix S [of the FIA's COVID protocols], it's incumbent upon Racing Point as the stakeholder in this case and Lance himself as an attendee to declare within the parameters of the protocol if they are having any of those requirements, and then there is the requirement from there to report.

"None of that has been reported to the FIA, so there's nothing further from our perspective at this point in time."

 

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