Stroll's doctor diagnosis was done over the phone

Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll’s diagnosis that he didn’t have coronavirus symptoms at the Eifel Grand Prix was made over the phone by his personal doctor.

Stroll's doctor diagnosis was done over the phone

The Canadian driver had been taken unwell with an upset stomach ahead of the Nurburgring weekend, and his condition deteriorated on the Saturday when he was unable to drive.

But Stroll and the team were satisfied that he was not suffering from COVID-19, so he did not take a test until he returned home to Switzerland. It was there that it was discovered he had been infected with the virus.

The Stroll situation has caused some controversy and exposed potential gaps in the strict protocols that have been laid down by F1 and the FIA.

Speaking on Thursday about why Stroll wasn’t tested as a precaution at the Nurburgring, Szafnauer said that the team was comfortable with the situation after a run of negative tests ahead of the race weekend, plus the driver’s personal doctor having ruled out coronavirus.

“He had a stomach upset, and he's had it consistently,” explained Szafnauer. “And one thing that Lance did is he called his doctor. So what should I do? Right? So instead of listening to Otmar, he called his doctor. I'm not a physician.

“He's Lance's private physician in Switzerland….it was a phone call. And it was the same guy Lance saw after Russia. So, you know, he's got a stomach upset after Russia, we test him a couple of times. Lance went and saw the doctor in Switzerland, so called him.”

Szafnauer said the doctor’s verdict left the team assured that it did not need to test Stroll nor any of its racing staff as a precaution.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but let's not forget, he tested pre-event negative,” he added. “He tested twice post-Russia negative. The symptoms were there post-Russia.

“Now that he had a test on Sunday, and it came back positive, yes, you could look in hindsight. But you've got to remember at the time, with the information we had, it was unnecessary. It didn't even come into my mind: go do a test.”

Read Also:

Szafnauer also denied any suggestions his outfit was not taking the safety protocols seriously.

“I do want to point out first to everybody that we test more than any other business on the planet,” he said. “Not just Formula 1 teams: any other business on the planet.

“I test every employee twice a week at the factory. We have done more than 15,000 tests. We've had six positives.

“We test, and take this virus more seriously than anybody. We test all of our staff upon arrival from a GP, so they have the peace of mind when they go home, that they didn't pick anything up. We're the only ones that do that: nobody else.”

The FIA has altered its COVID-19 protocols from the Portuguese Grand Prix, with anyone wanting to enter the paddock now required to have a negative test result at least 24 hours before being allowed in.

Szafnauer said that despite being caught out by the Stroll situation, there was little more he felt Racing Point could do.

“I think with what we do at Racing Point and with the change the FIA made, I'm not going to do anything else,” he said. “There's nothing else to do.

“Like I said, I test everyone before coming back [from a race] and if you come into the factory it’s twice a week: Tuesday and Friday.”

shares
comments

Related video

FIA cuts points for F1 superlicence in case of force majeure
Previous article

FIA cuts points for F1 superlicence in case of force majeure

Next article

Haas decided to drop both F1 drivers "two or three weeks ago"

Haas decided to drop both F1 drivers "two or three weeks ago"
Load comments
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022