Reports suggesting that either Fernando Alonso or Esteban Ocon have tested positive for coronavirus and would subsequently be ruled out this weekend’s Formula 1 race at Imola are not true, Crash.net understands.

Wild rumours in Italian media began doing the rounds on Wednesday evening claiming that one of Alpine’s drivers had returned a positive COVID-19 test and would be replaced by the team’s reserve driver, Daniil Kvyat, for the second round of the season at Imola. 

Speculation on social media only appeared to intensify after Kvyat posted an image of himself arriving at the circuit on Wednesday.

When approached for comment on the matter, an Alpine spokesperson confirmed to Crash.net that the rumours are false.

It is understood that Kvyat was at Imola to undergo a seat fitting with Alpine in case he is needed to deputise for one of the team’s regular drivers in the future.

The Russian, who lost his AlphaTauri drive to Yuki Tsunoda for the 2021 F1 season, had previously been unable to complete a seat fitting at Alpine due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

Alonso and Ocon are scheduled to take part in Thursday’s FIA press conference later today before practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix gets underway on Friday.

Alpine is bringing a “pretty decent upgrade package” to Imola as it looks to register its first points of the campaign after failing to score in last month’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

While Ocon raced at the venue last year, it marks Alonso’s first outing at Imola since the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix as he returns to the sport following a two-year hiatus.

The Spaniard previously won at the circuit in his maiden title-winning F1 season in 2005.

 

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