It’s been just over two years since the Coronavirus completely upended the world. Formula One was forced to suspend the start of its 2020 season as a result, and the series has been taking some incredible steps to reduce the chance of racers and staff either contracting the virus or spreading it within the host countries within which F1 races. COVID is so fucking pervasive, however, that even F1's best efforts have been thwarted multiple times. Following Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton, teammate Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, and Pierre Gasly, it would seem that McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo is the seventh F1 pilot to contract the shit.
According to McLaren Ricciardo felt unwell after arriving in Bahrain, and has been isolated since Wednesday. He was scheduled to test the car on Thursday but felt sick, in spite of a negative COVID test. On Friday the team administered a second test, which returned a positive diagnosis. Obviously this means the honeybadger was forced to sit out of testing on Friday, and will not be returning to the cockpit as planned for Saturday. McLaren’s Lando Norris will run all six sessions for the team.
Speaking from experience, as I tested positive for COVID back in January, it is entirely possible for this virus to hang around much longer than you hope it will. I was quarantined for a full ten days, and nine days after my first positive test, I was still testing positive. This is cause for serious concern in Ricciardo’s case, as the first Grand Prix of the 2022 F1 season kicks off just six days from now. Obviously the F1 circus has access to better doctors and medicine than I do as a normal middle-class car writer, so it’s possible he will be recovered in time to race. But I will also not be surprised if he isn’t.
You’d have thought the guy would be immune from most disease, considering how often he drinks champagne from a shoe.