Williams will make changes to its Formula 1 trackside team personnel for the Turkish Grand Prix after encountering a number of COVID-19 cases at the last two races.
All F1 teams are running with reduced on-site personnel numbers through 2020 as part of the FIA’s protocols to run grands prix during the current pandemic.
Every team member is required to undergo rigorous screening while working at events, as well as testing independently conducted by teams, which have support staff on standby to step in should results come back positive.
Williams will switch out a number of team members from its trackside team for next weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix after reporting a number of COVID-19 cases from the Portimao and Imola events.
“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 statement from Williams reads.
“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.”
Paddock personnel are required to complete a COVID-19 test every five days while working at F1 events, as well as one within the first 24 hours of arriving in the paddock.
The latest report from the FIA and F1 confirmed there had been eight positive cases out of 1,781 tests completed between 30 October and 5 November.
It is not known if Williams’ positive cases are included in this figure or not, as any independent testing conducted by teams is not counted by F1 or the FIA.
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