Pierre Gasly becomes sixth Formula 1 driver to contract coronavirus

Frenchman Pierre Gasly has become the sixth Formula 1 driver to contract coronavirus.

The Alpha Tauri driver said he was “feeling OK and will continue to follow my training plan from home while I am in isolation”.

The 24-year-old, who won last year’s Italian Grand Prix, added that he had informed all his recent close contacts.

His result means that 30% of the F1 grid has tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

World champion Lewis Hamilton and Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll had the disease last year and missed races as a result.

And McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc caught Covid-19 during the off season.

Alongside the drivers, a number of senior figures have contracted the disease.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff became the latest when he tested positive this month, while Racing Point team owner Lawrence Stroll, Williams team principal Simon Roberts and Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley contracted it last year.

The sport is preparing to begin the 2021 season with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 26-28 March, following the postponement of the planned opening race of the season in Australia because of travel restrictions in the country.

The Australian Grand Prix has been rescheduled for November.

A 23-race schedule is still planned but new F1 president Stefano Domenicali admitted last week that the sport would have to be “flexible” when it came to its schedule this season as the pandemic develops.

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