On Tuesday McLaren driver Lando Norris announced that he was the fourth 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. Norris is currently on vacation in the United Arab Emirates, and will be self-isolating for 14 days.
Norris issued a statement via social media confirming the reports.
“Yesterday I lost my sense of taste and smell so immediately self isolated and took a test. It’s come back as positive, so I’ve told everyone that I’ve been in contact with and will be self isolating for the next 14 days. I feel alright and have no other symptoms but I just wanted to let you all know. Take care.”
According to McLaren the team was planning to host a driver training camp for Norris and team newcomer Daniel Ricciardo in the coming weeks, but that will obviously have to be postponed. I’m not sure why Norris thought it would be a good idea to go on holiday to Dubai in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s quite obvious now that it wasn’t.
Thankfully the three prior F1 pilots to contract the deadly disease have not seen long-term symptoms from a disease that has killed nearly two million people worldwide. Yes, it is to their benefit that they are among the most fit humans on the planet, but any disease that kicks Lewis Hamilton’s ass is something I’d want to stay as far away from as possible.
I truly hope that Lando Norris recovers quickly and does not suffer any detrimental respiratory, cardiac, chronic fatigue or cognitive decline side effects. He’s genuinely a joy to watch and the grid would be significantly less fun without him on it come March when the 2021 season kicks off. Maybe in the process of his recovery, he’ll spend some more time streaming sim racing on Twitch. That was one of the small pure joy moments of the 2020 season’s postponement.
McLaren was hoping to integrate Lando and Danny Ric at this pre-season driver training program, as the team have said it is integral to their success that the two get along in the same manner Lando had with his prior teammate, Carlos Sainz. Being that the Brit sensation and the self-proclaimed honey badger are among the most fun guys on the grid, I think they should get along famously. If Lando manages to recover fully and get back to fighting fit, these two have the potential to carry McLaren to heights the team hasn’t seen in quite some time. They really have the potential to make Macca a winning team again.
Get well soon, Lando.