Formula 1 has closed off loopholes surrounding its Covid-19 testing protocols in light of Lance Stroll's recent case.
Racing Point driver Stroll felt unwell from the Russian Grand Prix onwards before pulling out of the Eifel GP on Saturday morning with a severely upset stomach, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer claiming he was unable to get off the toilet.
Stroll undertook numerous Covid-19 tests in between races, all of which came back negative.
The Canadian's absence led to the team drafting in Nico Hülkenberg for qualifying and the race, allowing Stroll to fly home on Sunday morning, with the 21-year-old taking another test upon arrival which then came back positive the following day.
The bottom line is that despite Stroll possessing Covid-like symptoms across the Eifel GP weekend, a positive test was not recorded until after the event.
Heading into this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, the FIA has now introduced new protocols surrounding testing.
Previously, a staff member attending a grand prix had to test prior to travel, with additional tests every five days.
But it has now been determined that an on-site test will also be required “at the earliest opportunity, and no more than 24 hours, following entry to any high-density area at the venue”, referring primarily to the paddock.
Additionally, there will be no Sunday testing if the previous five-day period had requested as such. Instead, the final test for race-day clearance must now take place by 2pm on Saturday.
In confirming the new procedure, Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer said: "The world is learning, the FIA are learning, we're learning.
"The FIA now, I understand, have introduced a test you have to take 24 hours from entering the paddock. That's new, for everybody in the paddock. That's something the FIA have changed.
"It's a good idea the FIA has said 24 hours from entering the paddock you do another test."
Before you go...
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