Williams is forced to shuffle members for F1 Turkish GP due to rise in COVID-19 cases as Bahrain organisers will host special fans for its races.
Williams has been forced to shuffle several of its team members for the upcoming F1 Turkish GP at Istanbul Park due to rise of COVID-19 cases within its traveling squad. They will switch the quarantined members from the people at the factory.
The team hasn’t quantified the number of people out of work and or the positive cases but specify it to be a good chunk. When pressed by FormulaRapida.net, they noted that George Russell’s physio Aleix Casanovas did not test positive despite having symptoms.
The statement from the team states: “Williams can confirm that we have had a number of positive COVID-19 cases during the course of the Portuguese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix, and whilst we will not be detailing any individual’s private information, we can confirm that all cases have been managed in line with the FIA COVID-19 guidelines, working with the FIA and with the ongoing safety of our people a priority.
“In order to ensure we follow these guidelines; several members of our trackside team are also isolating as a result of being identified as close contacts of these positive cases. As per our internal COVID-19 protocols, a number of factory-based team members will therefore fulfil these roles for the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix weekend.
“We ask for understanding that we will not be adding any additional information on this subject, but we would like to extend our thanks to all our traveling and factory based team members and their families, for their continued work and support during what is an extremely challenging time.”
Williams joins McLaren, Mercedes and Racing Point to have COVID-19 positive cases within its F1 team. So far, the FIA has confirmed 63 cases since the 2020 season re-started, with eight more added from the 1,781 tests between October 30 and November 5.
So far, they have undertaken over 60,000 tests in the 13 rounds, with high-profile positives being Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Lawrence Stroll and Will Buxton. Meanwhile, keeping the cases in check, the Bahrain organisers have decided against having F1 fans in stands.
They will still have special fans for their two grand prix, though, with a limited number of grandstand seats allocated for families of frontline health workers and first responders of Bahrain. The news means F1 will have no fans allowed for any races to end 2020 season.
The directive to have no fans to keep the COVID-19 numbers in check comes from His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Bahrain International Circuit.
Upon the announcement, BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said: “I sincerely thank His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for his leadership, guidance and support as we prepare for Formula 1, in what will be a very different event for all involved.
“Whilst we will not be able to welcome many fans to our events this year, we are delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the courage and efforts of our frontline healthcare workers and first responders by allocating all in-person attendance of the F1 experience to them. We are determined to put on a show for the hundreds of millions of people who will be watching from the safety of their own homes around the world.”
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