F1 has shared the latest COVID-19 data as Norman Nato becomes Venturi Formula E driver, while CAS has provided an update on Andrea Iannone.
With no F1 grand prix this weekend, the FIA still has to test members as per their set protocol. They did so a total of 1,506 tests between October 9 and October 15, where eight positive cases were detected, which is the second highest caseload after 10.
It takes the tally to 38 in all since the start of the 2020 F1 season from over 50,000 tests conducted so far. As per their norm, no details of the positive patients were released. Racefans.net, though, reported two could be from Renault’s test team at Barcelona.
They were filming at the Spanish circuit on Tuesday with Fernando Alonso driving the R.S.20. Apart from Sergio Perez and even Will Buxton, Mercedes, last weekend, revealed of two positive cases ahead of F1 Eifel GP, where they had to call upon six members.
Venturi Formula E announcement:
Over in Formula E, Venturi announced the signing of Nato as the replacement to ex-F1 racer Felipe Massa for the 2020/21 season, alongside Edoardo Mortara. The Frenchman had joined the team as a reserve in 2018, with Arthur Leclerc being its development driver.
Post a solid junior career in single-seater racing, Nato switched to sportscar as he competed not only in WEC but also ELMS. He has driven the Formula E car in several of the test runs but it will be his first full year in the all-electric championship.
“I’ve been a part of the ROKiT Venturi Racing family since 2018, so to secure a full-time race seat with the team for Season 7 is a great step forward and I can’t wait to show what we can achieve together,” said Nato, upon the announcement.
“Over the past two years, we have built very solid foundations and we share the same bright ambitions for the future. I would like to thank Susie [Wolff] and the team for believing in my abilities and giving me this opportunity to race in the FIA Formula E World Championship. I’m very excited to hit the ground running in Santiago this January.”
Meanwhile, Mortara – who continues for his fourth year with Venturi – stated: “I’m excited to continue my journey with ROKiT Venturi Racing into Season 7 of the FIA Formula E World Championship. There have been some real highlights over the past four years and I’m very keen to see what we can do together moving forward into this next stage of the team’s development.
“Santiago is a special place for me and I know that by the time January comes around, we will be in a better position to challenge our rivals. We saw some real promise during the first few races of Season 6 and although the season didn’t finish the way we wanted it to, we’ve put a lot of work in since then and I know we’re all hungry to get back out on track.
“I’m really happy to welcome Norman to his new role with the team – he’s earned it and I’m looking forward to working more closely with him. Working together, I hope that we will deliver some strong results in what is a landmark year for both the team and the championship.”
And finally, team principal Susie Wolff added: “As our Reserve Driver Norman has proven his ability at every available opportunity, not only showing speed during in-season testing but also demonstrating clear commitment to his role in our simulator. The decision to promote him to a full time race seat is indicative of his contribution to the team so far – he has earned the opportunity to show us what he can do behind the wheel.
“Season 7 will be Edo’s fourth with the team and we hope that his experience in the series combined with Norman’s ability and determination will make for a formidable pairing. Season 7 marks Formula E’s first campaign as a World Championship and we’re very much looking forward to hitting the track in Santiago next year.”
Update on Andrea Iannone from CAS:
The Court of Arbitration for Sport heard the case of Aprilia’s Iannone on October 15, where the Italian was pressing for a lesser punishment, whereas World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) were gunning for more stringent one to stop him from racing.
The matter was heard but the result won’t come soon as CAS stated that they will notify it by mid-November. This means, Iannone will not at all feature in the 2020 MotoGP season, while for 2021, it will depend on Aprilia if they sign him up alongside Aleix Espargaro.
Besides Iannone, Aprilia has an option of signing the current LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who is out of contract, while Andrea Dovizioso is in the market too. The Italian, however, is inching towards a MotoGP test role with multiple offers on the table.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in the appeal arbitration procedures filed by the Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took place on 15 October 2020,” stated the statement. The panel of arbitrators will now deliberate and finalise the Arbitral Award containing their decision.
“It is expected to be notified by mid-November 2020. The final award will be announced on the CAS website. The proceedings concern the decision taken by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) International Disciplinary Court decision dated 31 March 2020 (the Challenged Decision) in which Andrea Iannone was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and an 18-month period of ineligibility was imposed on him.
“Andrea Iannone seeks to have the Challenged Decision annulled, whereas WADA requests that the Challenged Decision be replaced by a new decision imposing a four-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”
Here’s the last COVID-19 data from F1
Here’s news about Valentino Rossi testing COVID-19 positive
Here’s last from Andrea Iannone