On Thursday Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc announced that he was the fifth Formula 1 driver to contract Coronavirus. Previously, drivers Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton, and Sergio Perez were forced to sit out of rounds during the 2020 season as a result of the virus, and Lando Norris is currently in isolation having himself fallen victim to COVID-19 just nine days ago.
Leclerc issued a statement via social media confirming the reports.
“I hope you are all staying safe. I wanted to let you know that I have tested positive for COVID-19.
I am regularly checked according to my team’s protocols. Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with. A subsequent test I took has come back positive.
I am feeling ok and have mild symptoms. I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities.
Stay safe and take care. *heart emoji*”
Earlier this month Leclerc took a vacation to Dubai with his girlfriend. I’m not saying this is where he contracted the virus, but where there’s smoke you’ll usually find fire. With Leclerc testing positive for the disease, this marks a full 25 percent of the F1 grid getting it, as far as we’re aware. Obviously the hope is that none of these talented young drivers feel any long-lasting effects from the virus. It was clear that Lewis Hamilton wasn’t on his A-game in the season ending race at Abu Dhabi after recovering from his fight with it.
Leclerc is clearly a talented driver, and one that Ferrari hopes to hang its hat on for at least the next few years. Teamed with Carlos Sainz, these two have the potential to bring the prancing horse back to championship status. Leclerc was clearly fighting well above what the car was capable of in 2020.
It’s obvious that the effects of this disease will be seen well into 2021. Not only will some races be postponed or outright cancelled, but I would absolutely expect to see more drivers sitting out Grands Prix with positive tests this year. It’s not over with, so get vaccinated as soon as you can, wear your face coverings, wash your hands, and stay home if you can. Don’t go on vacation to Dubai with your girlfriend.