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Fourteen McLaren staff tested are cleared of coronavirus

Fourteen McLaren staff tested are cleared of coronavirus

Fourteen McLaren staff tested are cleared of coronavirus

The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled after the McLaren staff member tested positive for the virus
Seven McLaren team members who were tested for coronavirus following the abandoned Australian Grand Prix have returned negative results.

The staff took the test because they had showed symptoms after close contact with a team member who returned a positive test in Melbourne on 12 March.

McLaren had previously said the employee was free of symptoms.

On Wednesday, the team added that 16 staff will remain in quarantine for a further week to follow recommendations.

Of those isolated, 14 had been in close contact with the team member who tested positive and an additional team member displayed symptoms over the weekend.

Three members of senior management, including racing director Andrea Stella, also stayed behind to support them.

The Formula 1 season has been thrown into disarray by the virus.

The first four races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed, and an announcement calling off the next races in the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco is expected in the coming days.

F1 bosses are in discussions on how to mitigate the effects of the disease, focusing on rejigging the calendar and finding ways to limit the financial impact of lost races.

The two largest revenue streams in F1 are race hosting fees and broadcast rights contracts, and income from both could drop this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

There is a tentative plan to try to start the season with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 7 June, and abandon the usual summer break to help fit in some of the lost races.

But the Azerbaijan start may have to be abandoned, depending on the development of the coronavirus outbreak, and the limitations on travel that are being imposed by countries around the globe.

The summer break – usually a three-week period in August in which teams close down for a fortnight – is expected to be held instead between the end of next week and the end of April, with teams choosing a three-week period within that time to stop operating.

There is an acceptance that some races this year may have to be abandoned altogether, with Spain, Monaco, Brazil, China and Australia on the list out of which those are most likely to come.

And depending on when the season is able to start, this year’s championship could even run into the start of 2021, with next year’s title race starting later than normal.

As a result, team bosses have discussed delaying the introduction of a massive regulation change planned for next season until 2022, and racing through this year and next with the current cars.

There could also be limits on development in certain areas of the cars, as another way to keep costs down.

This would be a way of cutting costs for all teams, and especially a help for the smaller teams, the survival of some of which could be at risk if the drop in the sport’s overall income is large enough.

The plan to postpone the 2021 rules was backed by nine of the 10 teams in a teleconference on Tuesday, with only Ferrari asking for more time to consider the matter.

Another meeting is due to be held on Thursday, which will also include the bosses of F1 and world governing body the FIA.

Any agreement by the teams would have to be officially ratified by the FIA world council before it was formally adopted.

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