McLaren’s quarantined staff in McLaren are in good spirits, while the individual infected with COVID-19 is recovering well.
The McLaren staff members currently going through a 14 day quarantine period in McLaren are in good spirits, according to the team. Over the scheduled Australian Grand Prix weekend, a member of staff was confirmed to have the COVID-19 coronavirus and immediately went into isolation and medical treatment, while high-risk individuals were identified and quarantined.
Locked up in Melbourne, the team members passed away time playing on newly purchased gaming consoles and tried to keep their spirits up. Team Principal Andreas Seidl stayed on in Australia to be with the affected team members but has now flown back to Europe.
“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.”
“We had been continually scenario-planning together with the team back in the UK, so we knew what our options were in the event of various outcomes.” continued Brown. Following confirmation of the case, McLaren withdrew from the race weekend – it was 12 hours later before Formula 1 called off the event entirely.
“Andreas and I already agreed that if we had a positive case in the garage there was only one option.” explained Brown. “As I said before, as a racer it was the hardest decision I’ve had to take but as CEO it was the easiest. Our people come first and Andreas feels very strongly about this too.”
”When the news came through on Thursday evening Andreas and I were at dinner with one of our shareholders. We immediately returned to the team hotel to join our race team leadership and while Andreas focused on leading the team, I focused on our board and shareholders, who were absolutely supportive I must say, while informing the other teams, F1 and the FIA.”
”I’m happy to report that our team member affected with the virus is recovering well and the symptoms have gone and our people in quarantine are in good spirits. The support they have been getting from their team-mates, our partners, members of the F1 community and fans from around the world has been fantastic and our thanks go out to all of them.”
”Our focus is now on the dialogue with F1, the FIA and the other teams on working through the 2020 calendar and managing the team over the next few months. It’s early days and this is an evolving situation but we are planning ahead and will stay flexible.”
Andreas Seidl thanked the team for their sense of family under the circumstances, and said Racing Director Andrea Stella has stayed on in Melbourne to be with the remaining team members.
“This is not an easy situation.” said Seidl. “Special thanks to our racing director Andrea Stella and his guys, who volunteered to stay Down Under for the next 14 days supporting our guys in quarantine.”
“When I talk about our team members, I also want to thank our two great drivers, Carlos and Lando, who have been obviously concerned about their team-mates. We have to keep them physically away from the rest of the team, even though they are both fine, but they are in constant communication.”
”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. This is the spirit of F1 and racing we all embrace.”
”I stayed in Melbourne for a few days to support the team but I’m back in Europe now to work with Zak and my leadership on planning how we operate in the weeks ahead, but we already decided the travelling race team definitely stays away from factory for two weeks as a precautionary measure.”