Red Bull Racing confirms a positive COVID-19 case as Robert Kubica will get another FP1 chance in F1 Bahrain GP.
After COVID-19 positive cases for F1 teams like McLaren, Racing Point, Mercedes and Williams, Red Bull has now joined the forum, as Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley has tested positive in the mandatory pre-Bahrain GP weekend RT-PCR testing.
Wheatley is the third high-profile COVID-19 positive case within F1 ecosystem in the last two weeks, after Williams’ interim team principal Simon Roberts and Pirelli chief Mario Isola. Fortunately, there is no other positive result within Red Bull team.
“We can confirm that during mandatory pre-race testing in the UK, Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley tested positive for COVID-19,” stated the statement from Red Bull. “In accordance with official protocols he will continue to isolate for the 10 day period and not attend the Bahrain GP.
“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 Red Bull team members needing to isolate following contact tracing and will not affect the Team’s trackside operations.”
F1 and the FIA released its own statement as well, concurring with Red Bull. The details of other positive cases for this week will be shared on Friday. While Wheatley is sidelined, Roberts is set to return but Isola’s participation at this juncture is unknown.
Moving on to the track action from Red Bull news, Alfa Romeo Racing confirmed the return of Kubica for his fourth FP1 session in the 2020 F1 season during the Bahrain GP weekend. The Polish racer will replace Kimi Raikkonen to continue his co-relation work.
“I am very pleased to be back in the driving seat for the first time since August,” said Kubica. “It may sound like a long time, but my season has been really busy with my simulator work at the factory and my DTM programme, so it actually felt like it went quite quickly. Now that my DTM season is over, I am keen to get back into my Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN role full time: there is still a lot to fight for and I am confident my work will make a positive contribution to the team’s efforts.”
Frederic Vasseur added: “We are all pleased to see Robert get back in the car for FP1. His contribution to the team has been important so far this season and to be able to get the most of his experience and skills here in Bahrain is going to help the team continue its current path of progression. Sakhir is a circuit he knows really well and this will really help our work this weekend.”
Here’s news on Callum Ilott testing for Alfa Romeo
Here’s news on Mario Isola testing positive
Here’s news on Red Bull and engine development freeze
Here’s Christian Horner on Red Bull wanting PU decision by Nov 2020 end