Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has had a member test positive for coronavirus, the Italian company confirmed on Monday.
Pirelli’s announcement marks the second confirmed case of COVID-19 infection within the F1 paddock.
Last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix was cancelled hours before track action was due to commence, following the McLaren outfit’s announcement that it was withdrawing because one of its team members had tested positive.
The other tests of team personnel in the paddock carried out by that point had come up negative, but Pirelli has now confirmed that it’s had a staff member diagnosed with the coronavirus infection on Monday.
“A member of the Pirelli F1 team has yesterday tested positive for Covid-19 in Melbourne,” the company said in a statement.
“The person concerned is now following all the relevant procedures put in place by the Australian health authorities.
“These authorities have confirmed to Pirelli that this person has not had any contact with third parties that requires special preventive measures to be taken for other people.
“Pirelli is closely monitoring the situation in line with public health policies and company guidelines.”
As expected, Pirelli has cancelled the 18-inch tyre test that it had planned to carry out with McLaren and Renault in Bahrain on March 24-25.
The company has two subsequent tyre tests scheduled for May. It is understood Pirelli will aim to reorganise its testing, but isn’t ruling out the possibility that it will have to compress its 2021 tyre test programme.