McLaren staff to return home after self-isolation period

The McLaren staff quarantined in Australia are set to arrive back home within the next 48 hours.

Sixteen members of the British team spent a fortnight in self-isolation in Melbourne after one of their colleagues contracted coronavirus.

The infected individual, a British mechanic, was reported by McLaren to be symptom-free last week, and it is understood that he has already returned to the UK.

The other team members – seven of whom returned negative results after being tested for the virus – have been given the all-clear to return. They are on a variety of different flights back to the UK, given the complex air travel situation.

McLaren’s withdrawal from the season-opening Australian race prompted F1 bosses to call off the race.

A member of tyre manufacturer Pirelli’s staff also contracted the illness while in Melbourne.

But a spokesperson for Pirelli confirmed to the PA news agency that the individual has since recovered from the illness and has now departed Australia.

The F1 calendar has been thrown into disarray, with eight of the opening 22 races called off following the global pandemic. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, pencilled in for June 7, was postponed on Monday.

F1 boss Chase Carey hopes the delayed campaign can get under way at some stage this summer with as many as 18 races crammed into a rejigged calendar.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said: “The teams, F1, and the FIA are working very closely together to do everything we can so when the world becomes a safe place to go racing, we can go racing, and hopefully have as much of our schedule preserved.

“There are plans in place to start up in the summertime if the world allows us to and still get in quite a bit of the racing season. So hopefully that will happen.”