Formula One to introduce mandatory Covid vaccination for all staff

sport
Formula One To Introduce Mandatory Covid Vaccination For All Staff Formula One To Introduce Mandatory Covid Vaccination For All Staff
It is expected that no exemptions will be granted. Photo: PA Images
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Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent

Formula One staff must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 under new FIA rules.

The policy drawn up by the sport’s governing body will be written into the regulations for the new season and will apply to all drivers, teams, media and hospitality guests.

It is expected that no exemptions will be granted.

It is understood that all of the drivers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (PA)

The sport hopes the rule will avoid a repeat of the Novak Djokovic fiasco which overshadowed the build-up to this month’s Australian Open.

All of the grid’s current drivers are understood to be vaccinated.

An F1 spokesperson said: “Formula One management will require all travelling personnel to be fully vaccinated and will not request exemptions.”

While it is understood the majority of personnel within the teams, F1 and the FIA have been moving towards the double-jabbed policy, the mandate will pose a dilemma for those opposed to compulsory vaccination.

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FIA medical car driver Alan van der Merwe, who rose to prominence following his role in saving Romain Grosjean when his car burst into flames at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020, has elected not to have the vaccine.

F1 became the first global sport to fire back up again following the pandemic, completing an impressive 17-race calendar in 2020 and 22 grands prix last year.

“Formula One has done an outstanding job in getting these races in and bringing fans back,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“We have a challenge, unlike most other sports, where we go to lots of different countries. What works in England might not work in France, and might not work in Singapore, for example.

“We have to continue to be flexible and adaptable and open up responsibly as the world opens up.”

The first of a record-breaking 23-round season starts in Bahrain on March 20 and concludes in Abu Dhabi nine months later. Despite the continued uncurtaining, F1 bosses are hopeful the calendar will not have to be amended.

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