McLaren team member free of virus symptoms


McLaren has revealed that the team member who tested positive for the coronavirus in Melbourne is now free of its symptoms.

It was the quarantining of the team member that caused the Woking-based team to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, thereby kick-starting a chain of events that would ultimately lead to the cancellation of the race.

As events unfolded, McLaren revealed that a further 14 team members had been placed in quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure, having been in contact with the individual who had tested positive.

"I'm proud of how the whole team, both in Australia and back at base, handled the situation in a moment of real pressure and concern for their colleagues," said Zak Brown, according to Motorsport Week. "The focus, calmness and professionalism was outstanding across the team. We had leaders stepping up everywhere and that is testament to our people.

"We had been continually scenario-planning together with the team back in the UK," he continued, "so we knew what our options were in the event of various outcomes.

"Andreas (Seidl) and I already agreed that if we had a positive case in the garage there was only one option," he admitted. "As a racer it was the hardest decision I've had to take but as CEO it was the easiest. Our people come first and Andreas feels very strongly about this too.

"When the news came through on Thursday evening Andreas and I were at dinner with one of our shareholders. We immediately returned to the team hotel to join our race team leadership and while Andreas focused on leading the team, I focused on our board and shareholders, who were absolutely supportive I must say, while informing the other teams, F1 and the FIA.

"I'm happy to report that our team member affected with the virus is recovering well and the symptoms have gone and our people in quarantine are in good spirits. The support they have been getting from their team-mates, our partners, members of the F1 community and fans from around the world has been fantastic and our thanks go out to all of them."

Seidl, who remained with the team until flying back to the UK on Saturday evening, praised rival teams who mucked-in and assisted with his team's packing-up process.

"They offered immediate help on Friday to dismantle the garage and pack the freight, which was obviously a challenge for us missing 14 of our core guys," he said. "This is the spirit of F1 and racing we all embrace."

McLaren has confirmed that on arrival back in the UK, race team members will be required to stay away from the team's HQ for at least 14 days as a precautionary measure.

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Published: 16/03/2020
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