Williams has been forced to make changes to its Formula 1 trackside team for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix in response to positive COVID-19 tests.

The team confirmed that it had “a number of positive COVID-19 cases” at the last two races in Portugal and Italy and will subsequently switch out the affected team members for factory-based replacements for F1’s return to Istanbul.

Williams has not released details of the cases, though ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix it was confirmed that George Russell’s coach Aleix Casanovas had gone into a precautionary isolation after displaying possible coronavirus symptoms.

“Williams can confirm that we have had a number of positive COVID-19 cases during the course of the Portuguese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix,” a Williams statement read.

“Whilst we will not be detailing any individual’s private information, we can confirm that all cases have been managed in line with the FIA COVID-19 guidelines, working with the FIA and with the ongoing safety of our people a priority.

“In order to ensure we follow these guidelines; several members of our trackside team are also isolating as a result of being identified as close contacts of these positive cases.

“As per our internal COVID-19 protocols, a number of factory-based team members will therefore fulfil these roles for the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix weekend.

“We ask for understanding that we will not be adding any additional information on this subject, but we would like to extend our thanks to all our traveling and factory based team members and their families, for their continued work and support during what is an extremely challenging time.”

F1 personnel working in the paddock are required to take a COVID-19 test every five days during grand prix events, in addition to one within the first 24 hours of arrival.

In the most recent update from the FIA and F1 - provided on 6 November - it was confirmed that 8 people had returned positive test results out of the 1781 tests for COVID-19 completed between 30 October and 5 November.

 

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