After a difficult week, things are finally looking up for McLaren. In the buildup to the Australian GP weekend, one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus. Now there is some good news as that member is recovering well and is finally “free of symptoms”.
When the virus was first detected, the team placed the employee in self-isolation. They followed it up by promptly withdrawing from the race. Soon afterwards, the event got cancelled when the teams voted in favour of canning it. Furthermore, the team placed 14 team members in quarantine because they were in contact with the victim.
“I’m proud of how the whole team, both in Australia and back at base, handled the situation in a moment of real pressure and concern for their colleagues,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.
“The focus, calmness and professionalism was outstanding across the team. We had leaders stepping up everywhere and that is testament to our people.”
With the threat rapidly gaining steam, McLaren hoped for the best, though they made plans to expect the worst. According to Brown, he and Andreas Seidl decided that a single positive case is enough to warrant a forfeit.
The McLaren employee is on the mend
The good news is that the infected team member is on the road to recovery. In addition to that, the people in quarantine are in good spirits and are getting plenty of support from team-mates, partners, the F1 community and fans.
Seidl also praised the likes of racing director Andrea Stella and technical director James Key. He even had positive things to say about drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, specifically about their attitude.
Being more than a dozen workers short, dismantling the McLaren garage and packing up equipment is a massive challenge. However, rival teams chipped in and helped the Woking-based outfit in the pitlane.
“We also appreciate our fellow teams in the paddock, who offered immediate help on Friday to dismantle the garage and pack the freight, which was obviously a challenge for us missing 14 of our core guys,” said Seidl. “This is the spirit of F1 and racing we all embrace.”