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Latest Formula 1 Covid rise not linked to Russian GP fan attendance

Latest Formula 1 Covid rise not linked to Russian GP fan attendance

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Latest Formula 1 Covid rise not linked to Russian GP fan attendance

Latest Formula 1 Covid rise not linked to Russian GP fan attendance

Formula 1 has reported 10 new cases of coronavirus over the past week but has insisted they are not linked to the return of fans at the Russian Grand Prix.

The Sochi Autodrom welcomed back fans for last weekend's race, up to 30,000 per day, although it is understood capacity was not reached across the three days.

Although measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 were supposed to be in place, the lack of masks and social distancing was evident.

The F1 teams, however, were unaffected by the apparent lack of protocol, with the reported cases only amongst those on the periphery of the main bubble.

Reporting the latest rise, F1 said: "The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 25th September and Thursday 1st October, 1,822 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams, and personnel. Of these, 10 people tested positive. Those who tested positive were all ancillary personnel.

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"Those cases have been managed quickly and effectively without impacting the event. The presence of fans has not affected that situation as the public was not allowed to enter the F1 bubble as per our protocol in force."

In the week leading up to the Russian GP, there were seven reported cases. F1 has insisted this weekly rise is no cause for alarm.

An F1 spokesperson told GPFans earlier this week: “Formula 1 and the FIA safety protocols are working very effectively including testing, tracing and other safety measures to ensure social distancing.

"There is never a zero Covid risk in any part of society and we ensure we mitigate any risks.

"We have always said that there will be positive cases, and we have shown that when they occur we can deal with the situation safely without disruption to an event.”

F1 and the FIA have reiterated their stance that the sport can effectively operate with multiple tens of cases without a weekend being compromised.

To date, there have been almost 49,000 tests since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, with a total now of 26 positive cases.

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