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FIA: F1 can manage positive COVID-19 tests

Mat Coch

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Wednesday 20th May, 2020 - 8:01am

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The Formula 1 paddock in Melbourne

The FIA believes Formula 1 can manage as many as 10 positive COVID-19 cases without impacting on the running of an event.

Formula 1 is planning to begin its season next month in Austria, having aborted the opening round in Australia in March as a result of a positive coronavirus test.

According to Gerard Saillant, President of the FIA’s Medical Commission, the sport could now continue even should multiple positive cases be identified.

“I think the situation is quite different between Melbourne and now, because the knowledge of the virus is quite different,” Saillant told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s possible to prevent and anticipate quite a lot things.

“If we have one positive case, or maybe 10 positive cases, it’s possible to manage perfectly with a special track, a special pathway for the positive cases.

“Medically speaking, it’s not a problem.”

Saillant, however, recognises that while a positive case may not prove disastrous from a medical standpoint, there are considerations surrounding the perception of such a result.

“In terms of sporting and media consequence, it’s quite different,” he added.

“We have to try and anticipate that, to know where is the right line beyond which it’s impossible to continue.

“But I think it’s not a problem for us now.”

Formula 1 intends to run its opening events with strict controls, including COVID-19 testing for personnel every other day.

It’s expected that two events will be run at the Red Bull Ring start on July 3-5 before heading to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on July 17-19.

Like the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone has been touted as a venue that could host multiple rounds as the sport looks to make up for cancelled events.

However, a spanner in those works could be the position of the UK Government.

The sport is relying on a dispensation for professional sports from a looming mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon entry to the country.

Currently that dispensation has not been granted, with suggestions it is unlikely to be forthcoming.

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