Ferrari gives warning over COVID-19 protocol violation
SPIELBERG (AUSTRIA) – Formula One’s governing body has given a warning to Ferrari about the risks of violating the sport’s COVID-19 protocol, looked upon as a protective ‘bubble’.
Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have been found to have interactions with people outside their individual team groups.
Leclerc returned to his Monaco home after finishing second in last Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. Vettel, however, was shown on television talking to Red Bull bosses, without wearing face masks, in the Red Bull Ring paddock.
FIA spokesman said, “Ferrari has been issued with a reminder and warned that any further breaches of the COVID-19 code could be referred to the stewards.”
He added that the warning was with regard to respecting the group system and giving importance to social distancing rather than Leclerc’s travel movements.
The FIA’s COVID-19 code states that the time one spends outside the closed venue “must be spent with other members of the same group, keeping interaction with persons outside that group to a minimum.”
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who won last Sunday, also went home to Monaco after the opening race. He made sure to be within his ‘bubble’ by seeing only those within his existing group — his girlfriend and trainer.
Some team bosses also left the Red Bull ring, including McLaren’s Zak Brown.
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said of Brown’s absence, “We have rules of engagement for the senior members of the team… at the same time, that was planned from the beginning.”
“Zak had to fly back for business reasons but he was following all the necessary measures which are in place in terms of social distancing and isolating himself… I don’t see any safety risk.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.