Red Bull Formula 1 sporting director Jonathan Wheatley has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Wheatley tested positive for coronavirus while in the UK as part of the pre-event screening before he was due to travel to Bahrain and will subsequently not attend this weekend’s race in Sakhir.

Red Bull announced on Thursday morning that Wheatley would not be on-site in Bahrain following his positive test, which means he is also unlikely to attend next week’s Sakhir Grand Prix due to having to isolate for 10 days in line with the government requirements.

"We can confirm that during mandatory pre-race testing in the UK, sporting director Jonathan Wheatley tested positive for COVID-19,” said Red Bull in a team statement.

"In accordance with official protocols he will continue to isolate for the 10 day period and not attend the Bahrain GP," a statement from Red Bull reads.

"Jonathan's duties will be shared by a number of team personnel at this weekend's Bahrain GP.

"The positive test has not resulted in any other team members needing to isolate following contact tracing and will not affect the team's trackside operations.”

Wheatley, a long-term member of the Red Bull squad, is the latest senior member of F1 personnel to have contracted COVID-19.

Acting Williams team principal Simon Roberts was forced to miss the Turkish Grand Prix after developing symptoms and returning a positive test, while Pirelli chief Mario Isola also tested positive on the day of the race.

All F1 personnel are tested for COVID-19 at least every five days across grand prix weekends in line with the FIA’s strict protocols for its closed events this year.

There were three positive results from 746 tests completed in the latest round of F1’s screening between 13 November and 20 November prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

 

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