Alfa Romeo have announced that team principal Frederic Vasseur has tested positive for coronavirus and will consequently miss the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
The team didn’t specify when he tested positive for COVID-19, but noted that he took another test a few days later which came back negative.
However, in line with the FIA’s coronavirus protocols and French laws, he will continue to self-isolate and will remotely perform his duties during the Bahrain test.
“In the interests of safety of Mr Vasseur himself, the team, all fellow competitors and the whole community and in respect of French regulations, Mr Vasseur will not travel to Bahrain and will continue operating from home for the next seven days, as required by the local authorities,” Alfa Romeo said in a statement on Thursday.
“Mr Vasseur will be fully operational and connected to the garage for the duration of the test, and no deputy team principal will be named, with no further impact predicted on our operations this week.”
Meanwhile, Formula One specified that Vasseur will self-isolate at home in France for another seven days.
“No other members of the Alfa Romeo Racing team have been affected, and the procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact on this week’s pre-season test which will continue as planned,” they added.
Last month, the Bahraini government said it would be offering all F1 personnel the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with them being able to take both jabs due to pre-season testing and the season opener both taking place in Bahrain.
“Due to the timescale of this year’s Formula 1 event, including testing, the vast majority of participants will be present in Bahrain for a three-week period ahead of the race.
“This, in turn, allows a unique opportunity to provide additional protection for those who wish to take up the opportunity in the form of vaccination,” the Bahraini government said in a statement.
Pre-season testing got underway today, while the season-opener – the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix – is scheduled to take place on 28 March.