F1 says racing will continue if driver tests positive

National Sports

FILE – In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 file photo, CEO of the Formula One Group, Chase Carey arrives prior to the third free practice at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy. Formula One races won’t be canceled if a driver tests positive for the coronavirus or if a team withdraws, CEO Chase Carey says. F1 is keen to avoid a repeat of the season opener in Australia in March, which was canceled when McLaren withdrew after a staff member tested positive for the virus. The season is now set to start with two races in Austria on July 5 and 12. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

LONDON (AP) — Formula One races won’t be canceled if a driver tests positive for the coronavirus or if a team withdraws, CEO Chase Carey says.

F1 wants to avoid a repeat of the season opener in Australia in March, which was canceled when the McLaren team withdrew after a staff member tested positive for the virus. The season is now set to start with two races in Austria on July 5 and 12.

“A team not being able to race wouldn’t cancel the race. I don’t think I could sit here and lay out the consequences. But we will have a procedure in place that finding infection will not lead to a cancellation,” Carey said on the F1 website Tuesday. “If a driver has an infection, (teams have) reserve drivers available.”

F1 teams have a tougher time returning to competition than teams in many other sports because of the dozens of people who usually travel to a race and the regular international journeys involved.

Carey said team members will be tested for the coronavirus before they depart for a race and then every two days. Teams will live in a “bubble” system, likely with “sub bubbles” to keep people apart if they do different jobs, he added.

“Clearly we recognize our sport is one which at times, we can’t have two metres between every individual on a team,” he said. “When a car pulls into a pit and has to change four tires, there won’t be two meters between every individual. We need to make sure we have procedures to manage all those risks as soon as possible.”

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