George Russell’s Formula 1 coach is self-isolating after showing mild respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.
Williams F1 driver Russell coach Aleix Casanovas isolated himself on Thursday and will undergo a test outside the paddock on Friday which must return negative before he can enter the circuit.
Russell and Casanovas have not been in contact since race day for the Portuguese Grand Prix last Sunday, since the two returned negative test results for COVID-19.
Russell is set to undergo another COVID-19 test on Friday and was last tested on Tuesday under new entry requirements for Italy, returning a negative result.
“After showing mild respiratory symptoms this morning, Williams can confirm that George Russell’s performance coach is self-isolating today under FIA guidelines,” a Williams spokesperson told TBEN.
“A COVID-19 test collected yesterday was negative, but he will again undergo another precautionary test tomorrow outside the paddock before taking further instructions from the FIA.
“He hasn’t been in contact with George since race day in Portugal.
George undertook his COVID-19 test scheduled for Tuesday to enter Italy today – which was also confirmed to be negative.
“He will be retested on the track on Friday as part of the team’s regular test program.”
Williams-nominated reserve driver Jack Aitken will be on hand at Imola from Friday, and has already competed in a number of Grand Prix this season to support the team.
All staff participating in the Grands Prix this season are required to undergo regular screening for COVID-19, a test every five days at events, as well as a test within 24 hours of arriving at the site.
In accordance with the FIA’s COVID-19 protocols, “a participant who begins to suffer from any symptoms of COVID-19 while away from the site must report immediately to the nearest medical facility” with the advice from his team.
The FIA International Sporting Code COVID-19 Code of Conduct lists the following symptoms: “fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, runny nose (rhinitis), sore throat (pharyngitis), loss of taste or smell, has a rash and / or discoloration of the fingers or toes (and / or any other symptom the World Health Organization may specify from time to time). “
The WHO says the incubation period for COVID-19 – the time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms – is on average five or six days, but can be up to two weeks.