Ferrari’s young Monegasque driver, Charles Leclerc, has become the fifth member of the Formula 1 grid to become infected by coronavirus. The news was confirmed this Thursday by both the #16 and the Italian team via separate statements published on social networks.
According to both parties, Leclerc is in good health besides some mild symptoms. As per their account, it all started when the driver from the Principality learned that a person with whom he had been in contact had tested positive.
Knowing he had been exposed to the virus, the 23-year-old quickly requested a PCR test, which came out positive. After knowing the results, he informed the people he had been with over recent days and then began the mandatory period of confinement.
Charles Leclerc, which is to be Carlos Sainz‘s new partner in Maranello, explained what happened on Instagram & Twitter:
“Hello, guys. I hope you are all staying safe. I want to let you know that I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am regularly checked according to my team’s protocols. Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with”.
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) January 14, 2021
“A subsequent test I took has come back positive. I feel good and only have mild symptoms. I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities. Keep safe and take care” – Concluded Leclerc wisely-.
Ferrari has also given its own version of events, emphasising the regular check-ups that its staff goes through:
“Ferrari Mission Winnow’s driver, Charles Leclerc, has tested positive for Covid-19. In accordance with the team’s protocols, Charles is tested regularly and yesterday the result from his latest test came back positive”.
“Charles notified us immediately and has informed everyone he has been in close contact with in the last few days. He is currently feeling ok with mild symptoms and is now self-isolating at home in Monaco.”
Perez, Stroll, Hamilton, Norris… & Leclerc
Charles Leclerc is thus the fifth Formula 1 driver to have contracted the illness in recent months. The first ones to do so last seasons were Racing Point teammates Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. Later it was the turn of seven-time Mercedes champion Lewis Hamilton.
His illness meant the Briton had to miss the Sakir Grand Prix, an absence which allowed Williams’ George Russell, to show his talent to the world. Some sources affirm that the young driver’s dazzling performance has been one of the sticky points in the contract renewal negotiations between the Germans and #44.
Last week, and with the curtain already down on the strangest season in history, another Briton contracted the virus. Lando Norris reported from Dubai, where he had travelled on vacation before joining a pre-season training camp, that the pandemic had caught up with him. He is still in isolation at the Persian Gulf country.
Leclerc & Sainz, Ferrari´s duo
Charles Leclerc and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who arrives in Ferrari after two successful seasons in McLaren, will be teammates this year. There, they will share the difficult task of giving some direction to a project that has been adrift for far too long.
The talented young couple has been called upon to bring the most successful team in the history of Formula 1 back to its former glory, and that is no easy task. Former hopeful and four-time German champion Sebastian Vettel was let go after he was unable to bring any shine back for La Scuderia.
Images of Charles Leclerc: Ferrari.