Racing Point says it did not report Lance Stroll’s illness at Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix to the FIA because a doctor had advised that his symptoms did not indicate COVID-19.

Stroll revealed on Wednesday that he tested positive for coronavirus after the Eifel Grand Prix weekend, having pulled out of the race due to illness.

The Canadian returned a negative test on Monday ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix and said he feels in “great shape” as he returns to action.

In a statement released by Racing Point, CEO Otmar Szafnauer defended his team’s handling of the situation and said “there was no requirement” to inform the FIA of Stroll’s condition after consulting with a doctor “who did not believe his symptoms indicated COVID-19 and did not advise a test was necessary”.

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

“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.

“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.”

F1 personnel, including the drivers, are tested every five days and Stroll was negative for coronavirus when he tested prior to the Nurburgring race on Tuesday.

The governing body said it would not be taking any further action as it does not believe Racing Point broke the FIA’s code of protocols for dealing with COVID-19.

Stroll isolated in his motorhome as a precaution after reporting he was unwell on Saturday before he flew home on Sunday morning and took a further test which came back positive.

“Lance then flew home to Switzerland on a private plane on Sunday morning,” Szafnauer continued.

“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.

“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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