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International Automobile Federation FIA reports positive COVID-19 case in Formula One

The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 11th September and Thursday 17th September, 1,938 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams and personnel

MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. /TASS/. The world’s governing body of automobile racing, FIA, reported on Friday another positive case of COVID-19 among the staff and drivers of Formula One, according to FIA press office’s statement on Friday.

"The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 11th September and Thursday 17th September, 1,938 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams and personnel," the statement from FIA reads.

"Of these, one person tested positive," the statement said adding that "No specific details as to teams or individuals will be provided by the FIA or Formula 1 and results will be made public every 7 days."

This year’s FIA F1 World Championship was intended to be the first in the history of Formula One to run in 22 Grands Prix around the globe, opening with the race in Australia on March 15 and closing with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The championship was set to see a debut of the Grand Prix in Vietnam’s Hanoi and the return of the Dutch Grand Prix, which had been absent from the race calendar since 1985.

However, the F1 racing calendar for this year had been readjusted due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic forced earlier in the year to cancel the legendary Monaco GP, as well as the Grands Prix in Australia and France.

The F1 press service stated on June 2 that the International Automobile Federation (FIA) approved a calendar of eight Grands Prix to start the 2020 Formula One World Championship. The list of eight approved Grands Prix included the racing weekends in Austria on July 3-5 and July 10-12; in Hungary on July 17-19; in the UK on July 31-August 2 and on August 7-9; in Spain on August 14-16; in Belgium on August 28-30; in Italy on September 4-6; and in Russia’s Sochi on September 25-27.

On August 25, Formula One authorities presented an extended calendar of Grands Prix for this year’s prestigious auto racing championship stating that the list of the Grands Prix this season was upped to 17. According to the official statement of the Formula One racing series on Tuesday four more races were added for this year - namely one race in Turkey on November 13-15; two races in Bahrain (on November 27-29 and December 4-6) and one race in Abu Dhabi on December 11-13.

The Russian city of Sochi is hosting the Formula One Russia Grand Prix for the seventh time this year and the race is scheduled to be held on September 25-27. Administration of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced earlier in the year that the Russian F1 race would be organized with spectators in attendance.

Global coronavirus crisis

In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 30,521,160 people have been infected worldwide and more than 952,730 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 22,205,470 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 1,091,186 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 901,207 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 19,195 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.