Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in isolation in is Monaco home with what he describes as “mild symptoms”.
Leclerc announced his diagnosis via social media, with the Ferrari team confirming that he tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.
He is the fifth F1 driver to have been hit by COVID-19, with Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton all missing races during 2020 as a result and Lando Norris testing positive in Dubai earlier this month and still in his mandatory two weeks of self-isolation.
“I hope you are all staying safe,” said Leclerc on Instagram. “I want to let you know that I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am regularly checked according to my team’s protocols.
“Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with. A subsequent test I took has come back positive.
“I am feeling OK and have mild symptoms. I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities.
“Stay safe and take care.”
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) January 14, 2021
Ferrari tests its drivers regularly even out of competition. While F1 has stringent COVID-19 protocols in place around races, this is part of Ferrari’s own wider measures when away from race events.
“In accordance with the team’s protocols, Charles is tested regularly and yesterday, the result from his latest test came back positive,” said a Ferrari statement.
“Charles notified us immediately and has informed everyone he has been in close contact with in the last few days.
“He is currently feeling OK with mild symptoms and is now self-isolating at home in Monaco.”
F1 pre-season testing begins 10 days later than initially planned thanks to the postponement of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
This means Leclerc should have ample time to recover and resume his pre-season preparations.
The season is certain to start with F1’s stringent COVID-19 protocols in place, with these likely to continue for some time given the ongoing pandemic.