Lance Stroll has “flu-like symptoms” but has tested negative for coronavirus multiple times, according to Racing Point Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Nico Hulkenberg was drafted in as a last-minute stand-in for Stroll after the Canadian felt unwell and was unable to take part in final practice for the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on Saturday morning.

Stroll will be replaced by Hulkenberg for the remainder of the weekend in Germany to give him a chance to fully recover from his illness.

“The pre-event test was Tuesday,” Szafnauer said. “We got the results on Wednesday. He hasn’t been tested since. We’re following the FIA protocol. The next test was either Sunday or Monday.

“He hasn’t been feeling great since Russia,” he added. “I think he had a bit of a cold. At first, we thought he’d better get tested for the virus.

“But we have tested him multiple times, including the pre-event test for this race, and he has come back negative three or four times. He doesn’t have the classic COVID-19 symptoms, he just doesn’t feel well in himself.”

Szafnauer said Stroll was suffering from “flu-like symptoms” that left him unable to exercise since the Russian Grand Prix.

“I don’t know if it’s something he ate or a tummy bug or what,” Szafnauer explained. “He just said he didn’t feel up to it.

“I talked to him and said, ‘look, we are going to have a double-header coming up soon’ and I’d rather he rest and get ready for that. So it was close call - we were hoping he would get better.

“[He told us] 30 minutes before FP3. He was still thinking ‘I want to do this’. But then he thought if I don’t get better then I’ve got to qualify, then I’ve got to race, and it’s the race that he really wasn’t looking forward to in the state he was in.

“Otherwise, had it been yesterday, we’d’ve have called Hulkenberg a day earlier and he would have done FP3.”



Loading Comments...