Williams to make personnel changes due to COVID-19 cases

Williams pit stop

Williams have announced they will be making chances to their trackside Formula 1 team for the Turkish Grand Prix due to several staffers testing positive for COVID-19.

Per the protocols in place, Williams have been forced to activate several reserve team members after confirmed cases were returned after the last two races at Portimao and Imola.

“Williams can confirm that we have had a number of positive COVID-19 cases during the course of the Portuguese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix,” the team said in a statement.

“Whilst we will not be detailing any individual’s private information, we can confirm that all cases have been managed in line with the FIA COVID-19 guidelines, working with the FIA and with the ongoing safety of our people a priority.

“In order to ensure we follow these guidelines; several members of our trackside team are also isolating as a result of being identified as close contacts of these positive cases.

“As per our internal COVID-19 protocols, a number of factory-based team members will therefore fulfil these roles for the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix weekend.

“We ask for understanding that we will not be adding any additional information on this subject, but we would like to extend our thanks to all our traveling and factory based team members and their families, for their continued work and support during what is an extremely challenging time.”

Not the first time a COVID-19 case has been linked to Williams, driver George Russell’s trainer Aleix Casanovas had previously been isolated on suspicion of having the virus, although it is not known if these new cases are in any way linked.

Under FIA protocols, F1 personnel must undergo a test for the coronavirus every five days during the season, with an additional test within 24 hours of arriving at a race weekend.

The latest report by the governing body indicated there had been eight confirmed cases out of the 1781 total tests performed between 30 October and 5 November.