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Stroll tested positive after Eifel GP

Lance Stroll
Stroll is the second Racing Point driver to contract Covid-19 this year

Racing Point driver Lance Stroll says he tested positive for coronavirus after the Eifel Grand Prix weekend.

The Canadian – who did not race – was unwell and displayed a number of Covid-19 symptoms at the Nurburgring race but was not tested over the weekend.

Stroll said his symptoms were “pretty mild” and he went home on the morning of the 11 October race and took a test.

He had another test on Monday, before this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, and returned a negative result.

“I feel in great shape and I can’t wait to be back with the team and to race in Portugal,” he added on social mediaexternal-link.

Racing Point did not report Stroll’s illness at the Eifel Grand Prix to governing body the FIA as a potential Covid case.

A spokesman for the FIA said it would not be taking any further action because “we don’t feel that there has been any breach of the (Covid) code”.

The FIA’s code of protocols for dealing with Covid-19 says participants must “comply with the instructions of his/her Stakeholder (team) and the Covid-19 Delegate” if “he/she tests positive for the Covid-19 virus or he/she starts to suffer from any Covid-19 symptoms”.

The situation poses a number of uncomfortable questions for bosses at the Racing Point team, which is owned by Stroll’s father, the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said at the Eifel Grand Prix that he was “confident” Stroll did not have coronavirus, despite having “flu-like symptoms”, an upset stomach and was “just not well in himself and couldn’t exercise”.

Stroll was tested on the Tuesday before the race weekend but not while in Germany.

BBC Sport pressed Szafnauer on the question of why he had not been tested again despite the fact that his symptoms were among those known to be potential indicators of coronavirus.

Szafnauer replied that Stroll had had some of the symptoms over the period between the Russian and Eifel Grands Prix but had tested negative “multiple times”.

He added that Stroll “doesn’t have classic Covid-19 symptoms”, even though fever, fatigue and diarrhoea are listed as three possible symptoms of Covid-19 on the website of the US government’s Centre for Disease Control.

The team did not immediately respond to BBC Sport’s requests for comment on Wednesday.

Stroll’s statement said: “I arrived at the Nurburgring after testing negative in the normal pre-race tests.

“On Saturday morning, I started to feel unwell and woke up with an upset stomach. I followed FIA (Covid) protocol and self-isolated in my motorhome and did not re-enter the paddock.

“I wasn’t fit to race, so I went home early Sunday morning. As I was still feeling under the weather, I took a Covid test on Sunday evening.

“The next day, the results came back positive, so I stayed at home isolating for the next 10 days.”

He said that he was now “feeling 100%”.

Stroll is the second Racing Point driver to contract Covid-19 this year. His team-mate Sergio Perez was forced to miss the two races at Silverstone in the summer after catching the virus following a trip home to Mexico to see his mother.

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