McLaren chief misses British Grand Prix but Norris and Ricciardo clear to race

By Sports Desk July 15, 2021

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown will miss the British Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19, it emerged on Thursday.

Brown was one of three members of the McLaren team to return a positive test ahead of the Silverstone race weekend, but drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have had the all-clear.

The team said in a statement: "McLaren Racing confirmed today that three team members, including CEO Zak Brown, tested positive for COVID-19 during the team’s rigorous testing programme before the British Grand Prix. Neither of our drivers are close contacts.

"All three cases are unconnected and now isolating in accordance with government guidelines. The team’s operations for the British Grand Prix are unaffected."

Brown added on his Twitter account: "I've notified all my close contacts and isolating in accordance with government guidelines. I'll still be connected to and supporting the team safely from home."

McLaren stand third in the constructors' championship, with Norris their standout performer, earning three third places among eight top-five finishes from nine races.

Ricciardo's best results have been three sixth-placed finishes and he stands eighth in the drivers' standings.

British driver Norris, fourth in the championship, will be eyeing a strong performance in this coming Sunday's race, as well as Saturday's inaugural sprint.

He was said to be "shaken" after having his expensive watch stolen after attending the Euro 2020 final last Sunday.

 

Related items

  • Russian GP: Verstappen takes grid penalty after Red Bull engine change Russian GP: Verstappen takes grid penalty after Red Bull engine change

    Max Verstappen faces a battle to retain his lead in the Formula One world championship standings after being relegated to the back of the grid for the Russian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull have opted to install a fourth engine of the season in the Dutchman's car ahead of the race at the Sochi circuit, meaning Verstappen must take a grid penalty.

    Verstappen, who leads reigning champion Lewis Hamilton by just five points, had a three-place grid sanction hanging over him following his part in a collision with his Mercedes rival in Italy.

    The news is a reprieve for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who had been demoted to the rear of the grid after the Scuderia chose to debut a new power unit this weekend.

    Verstappen finished second in Russia last year, when Valtteri Bottas took the honours and team-mate Hamilton was third.

    The 23-year-old has claimed seven race wins this season, with Hamilton on four.

  • I'm so nervous I can barely sleep! – Verstappen's sarcastic response to Hamilton's 'pressure' claim I'm so nervous I can barely sleep! – Verstappen's sarcastic response to Hamilton's 'pressure' claim

    Max Verstappen joked he "can barely sleep" after Lewis Hamilton suggested his title rival might be feeling the pressure as he fights for a maiden world championship crown.

    Red Bull driver Verstappen leads Hamilton by five points ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, where he will serve a three-place grid penalty after colliding with the Mercedes man at Monza two weeks ago.

    This is the closest the top two have been after 14 races since the 2016 battle between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (two points).

    While Verstappen is seeking his first title in what is his seventh season in Formula One, Hamilton has finished top on seven occasions, the first of those triumphs coming in 2008.

    The Briton was involved in a tense battle while with McLaren the previous year and, reflecting on that experience, believes he knows exactly what Verstappen is feeling right now.

    "Obviously he won't admit to it, and I'm not going to make an assumption, but I'm just saying I remember what it was like battling for my first championship," he said on Thursday.

    "The pressure definitely mounted up. It was difficult. It was intense. I was going through a lot of different emotions and I didn't always handle it the best and that's to be expected.

    "I know the pressure that comes with it and the experiences, so I can empathise with that.

    "I do believe that he will continue to get stronger, and I'm hopeful we won't have any more incidences like last time through the rest of the year.

    "I never expect a driver to back down. What's important is that we just continue to race hard and fair, and I have no doubts that we will both be professional and learn from the past."

     

    However, when those comments were relayed back to championship leader Verstappen, the Dutchman offered a sarcastic response.

    "I'm so nervous I can barely sleep. It's so horrible to fight for a title. I really hate it," he said.

    "Those comments just show that he really doesn't know me. Which is fine. I also don't need to know him.

    "I just focus on myself and I really enjoy it out there at the front, and hopefully we can do that for a very long time.

    "I am very chilled. It is the best feeling ever to have a car, a great car, where you can go into every weekend and you can fight for a win."

    Mercedes have triumphed at Monza every year since 2014 – no team has won more races at a single grand prix without failing – and Hamilton has the chance to reclaim the title lead should that be the case again this weekend.

    "It's very, very important, as important as it can be," Hamilton said. 

  • Mick Schumacher retains Haas seat for 2022 F1 season Mick Schumacher retains Haas seat for 2022 F1 season

    Mick Schumacher has retained his seat with Haas for the 2022 Formula One season.

    The 22-year-old and fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin will both be retained after impressing team principal Guenther Steiner.

    Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael, and Mazepin moved to the American outfit from Formula Two ahead of this season.

    "We knew we wanted continuity behind the wheel in 2022 and I'm happy to confirm exactly that with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin competing for Uralkali Haas F1 team next year," said Steiner. "2021 has afforded both drivers the opportunity to learn Formula 1 – and as rookies – they've done a lot of that this year.

    "It's been a tough season for sure with the package we've had, but at the same time they've both embraced the challenge and worked closely with the team to learn our processes and adapt to the rigours of a Formula One campaign and all that brings – both internally and externally."

    Before stepping up to the big time, Schumacher won the F3 European Championship and Formula Two titles.

    He and Mazepin are yet to score a point in 2021 but Schumacher is revelling in the experience.

    "By being part of the Formula One field, I am living my dream," he said. "The first year together with Haas F1 is very exciting and instructive, and I'm sure I can bring all the experience I've gained into the coming year."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.