Formula 1: Another driver tests positive for COVID-19

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) /

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Thursday, becoming the fifth driver to do so.

Charles Leclerc became the fifth active Formula 1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began and the second to do so since the 2020 season ended in mid-December.

The Ferrari driver announced on Thursday that he has tested positive for the virus, and the team later confirmed the news.

Fortunately, the 23-year-old Monegasque is feeling okay and has only mild symptoms.

He is currently self-isolating in his home in Monaco.

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Leclerc signed a multi-year contract extension with Ferrari after the 2019 season, keeping him under contract with the Scuderia through the 2024 campaign. He joined the team in 2019 as the replacement for 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

In 2019, he finished in fourth place in the driver standings with two victories, and in 2020, despite Ferrari’s struggles, he drove a tractor of an SF1000 to an eighth place finish in the standings with two podium finishes.

After two seasons competing alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, he is set to be joined by former McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr., who signed a two-year deal with the team, starting in 2021.

The other four drivers to test positive for COVID-19 so far include Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris. All except for Norris tested positive during the season and missed at least one race due to the positive test, with Perez missing two.

After the 2020 season was delayed and shortened by the pandemic, the 2021 season has already been delayed by it as well, although not nearly to the extent that the 2020 season was.

The 23-race season was originally scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 21 at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit with the Australian Grand Prix, but that race has been postponed to Sunday, November 21 as a result of pandemic-related restrictions in Melbourne, Australia.

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As a result, the season is instead scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 28 at Bahrain International Circuit with the Bahrain Grand Prix.