Ferrari, Mercedes set to be warned on F1 coronavirus protocols

Ferrari and Mercedes are set to be warned about following Formula 1's coronavirus protocols, after Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas returned home to Monaco after the Austrian Grand Prix

Ferrari, Mercedes set to be warned on F1 coronavirus protocols

With the FIA imposing strict social bubbles to limit the chances of an infection spreading in the paddock, the governing body's COVID-19 delegate has been alerted about both Leclerc and Bottas leaving the country after last weekend's race.

While the Code of Conduct does not prevent F1 attendees from travelling away from venues between races, it is strict about them staying within their own social bubbles and not mixing with anyone outside them.

Bottas posted on social media about enjoying time out in Monaco, while Leclerc was pictured with friends and fans - including one shot where no one was wearing a mask.

It is understood that following examination of the events, the FIA will write to both the drivers' teams to remind them of their need to strictly follow the Code of Conduct that all attendees of the races in Austria must adhere to.

The fact that Ferrari is to receive a second reminder about sticking to the Code of Conduct, with Sebastian Vettel having spoken to Red Bull's Christian Horner and Helmut Marko last week without a mask, means the FIA will likely treat the matter more seriously.

The FIA's Code of Conduct leaves the door open for repeated breaches of the Code to be reported to the stewards.

It states: "Where the COVID-19 Delegate considers that a Stakeholder has deliberately or seriously or repeatedly breached the COVID-19 Code, the COVID-19 Delegate shall submit a report to the Stewards, who shall proceed in accordance with Article 11.9 of the International Sporting Code."

Speaking about the matter ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, Bottas said that he had done nothing wrong and was authorised to return to Monaco.

"Obviously I found out if it's allowed to go back, and yes it is," he said. "Of course, it doesn't make a difference if I stay with the same people in the same bubble: whether I'm here or back home in Monaco. So I decided to go back home, as we are in Europe and travelling is pretty short. So there's no extra stress really from the travel.

"I wanted to spend those three full days at home. I thought it was very nice, feeling very recharged for the weekend. So I think it was a good decision from our side, and I understand what to do, what works for me, what I want to do between the races and from safety point of view, there's no difference at all. It's still the same people that I would be dealing with here."

Leclerc saw no problem with what he did, as he said he had taken a couple of coronavirus tests to ensure he was not carrying the disease.

"I did come back at home," he said. "On the other hand, I've been tested twice before coming back.

"So in two days, testing twice, both negative obviously. And that's it. Yes, I went back home for two days and then the two tests to be sure of the results."

But the actions of Bottas and Leclerc has raised eyebrows among some of their rivals, with Romain Grosjean expressing some surprise at them being allowed to travel.

"It's always more fun to be home but I wasn't given the option," said the Frenchman. "The message was that we had to stay there, so I was a bit surprised to see that people had gone home.

"But at the same time I wasn't unhappy to be around. It gave me a chance to rest. We went up the mountains, we rode our bikes, we went to see the cows... It's time to get back into the race. Then on Sunday evening I'm going home before leaving for Budapest."

Leclerc's team-mate Sebastian Vettel cheekily suggested about him choosing to remain in Austria: "I stayed in the bubble."

shares
comments
Albon: I wouldn't change actions in Hamilton Austrian GP F1 clash
Previous article

Albon: I wouldn't change actions in Hamilton Austrian GP F1 clash

Next article

Hamilton warned of "consequences" for using Kaepernick F1 helmet

Hamilton warned of "consequences" for using Kaepernick F1 helmet
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022