Ferrari and Leclerc warned following Covid-19 breach
The FIA has issued Ferrari and Charles Leclerc with a warning following an apparent breach of the new Covid-19 protocols in place in Formula 1.
FIA regulations now state that all team members are to remain in their own social 'bubbles' during grands prix.
This does not stop personnel from returning home during races, as was the case with Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, providing they adhere to strict guidelines.
Pictures of Leclerc, however, are understood to have emerged on social media that appeared to show him at a gathering with friends in Monaco.
Article 3.14 of the FIA’s Covid-19 Code of Conduct reads: “Any time that Profile 1 Attendees spend outside the Venue during a Covered Event or between Covered Events must be spent with other members of the same Group, keeping interaction with persons outside that Group to a minimum.”
While the FIA has confirmed to GPFans there was no clear breach of protocol by Bottas as he remained in his bubble that included girlfriend Tiffany Cromwell and trainer Antti Vierula, the situation regarding Leclerc is a concern, resulting in the warning being issued to Ferrari, and that a further incident will be referred to the stewards.
Leclerc explained: “I did come back home. On the other hand, I’ve been tested twice before coming back, so in two days tested twice, both negative obviously, and that’s it, but yes, I went back home for two days and then did two tests to be sure of the result.”
It is the second warning issued by the FIA after Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull were reminded of the protocols in place after images last week showed the four-time F1 champion meeting with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko in the Red Bull Ring paddock without face masks.
Bottas, meanwhile, opted for a short break at his home in Monaco after winning the season-opening race in Austria before returning to Spielberg on Thursday morning.
He said: “I wanted to find out if it was safe to go back, and it is. Obviously it doesn’t make any difference, if I stay in the same bubble, with the same people, if I’m here or back home in Monaco.
“So, I decided to go back home as, in the end, we are in Europe and travelling it’s pretty short distances, so there’s no actual stress from travelling.
“I just wanted to spend those three full days at home, and I thought it was very nice. I feel very much recharged for the weekend.
“I think it was a good decision for my side and I tend to only do things that work for me when it comes to deciding what I want to do when I have days off.
“From a safety point of view, there was no difference at all. I was still with the same people that I would have been dealing with here.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.