Yet another Formula One driver has tested positive for COVID-19. Pierre Gasly, No. 10 AlphaTauri driver, announced the news via Instagram story and Twitter. With Gasly’s positive case, one-third of the F1 grid has now tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
His post read as follows:
Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well & safe.
I wanted to let you know that I tested positive for Covid 19. I have told everyone I’ve been in contact with these last days.
I’m currently self isolating and following the protocol set by the local health authorities. I’m feeling ok, and will continue to follow my training plan from home while I remain in isolation.
Five other drivers have contracted COVID-19:
- July 30, 2020: Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
- October 21, 2020: Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
- December 1, 2020: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- January 5, 2021: Lando Norris (McLaren)
- January 13, 2021: (Charles Leclerc)
That adds up to one-third of the F1 grid. Three of those cases, including Gasly’s, have taken place during the off-season.
While it’s unclear where Gasly contracted COVID-19, he has been active on Instagram sharing posts from Dubai, where it appears that he’s been living and training ahead of the 2021 Formula One season. Charles Leclerc, who also contracted COVID-19, had traveled to Dubai before falling ill as well.
F1 drivers are generally at the peak of their physical fitness, so the drivers that have contracted the coronavirus have not appeared to have any long-term impact. However, the long-term effects of the disease still aren't known; the fear is that it could turn out to be an insidious illness that pops up later in life.
The Formula One season kicks off on March 28, 2021 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which means there's still an opportunity for other F1 drivers to contract the virus.