McLaren team member 'recovering well' from coronavirus
Brown and Seidl provide update and praise team's calm handling of situation
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 16/03/20 12:28pm
The McLaren team member who contracted coronavirus is "recovering well" and now showing no symptoms, the Woking team have said.
The employee and 14 additional members of the team have stayed in quarantine in Melbourne for 14 days after the team pulled out of the ultimately cancelled Australian GP after the coronavirus case was confirmed last Thursday.
In an update to the media, McLaren chief executive Zak Brown and team principal Andreas Seidl provided the latest information and praised the workforce's handling of the situation.
"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," said McLaren chief executive Zak Brown.
"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."
McLaren immediately pulled out of the Australian event when they learnt that the team member had tested positive for coronavirus. The event was later cancelled after the majority of teams decided not to continue with the weekend.
Brown added: "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. 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. Andreas and I already agreed that if we had a positive case in the garage there was only one option. 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."
Seidl initially stayed out in Australia to support the team before returning to Europe and said: "I also want to recognise our team members who have had to stay in Melbourne under quarantine at the moment. This is not an easy situation. 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."