Charles Leclerc has become the fifth current F1 driver to confirm he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ferrari racer joins Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton – all of whom missed at least one race of the 2020 season due to illness – and Lando Norris.
Like Norris, who was on holiday in Dubai at the time, Leclerc’s positive test has occurred during the off-season and therefore is not expected to impact significantly on his work.
In a social media post, Leclerc said: “Hello guys. I hope you are all staying safe.
“I want to let you know that I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am regularly checked according to my team’s protocols.
“Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with. A subsequent test I took has come back positive.
“I am feeling okay and have mild symptoms. I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities.
“Stay safe and take care.”
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) January 14, 2021
Ferrari also released a statement to the same effect.
Charles notified us immediately and has informed everyone he has been in close contact with in the last few days.
He is currently feeling ok with mild symptoms and is now self-isolating at home in Monaco. [2/2]
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) January 14, 2021
In another similarity to Norris, Leclerc was also reported by Motorsport.com to have been on holiday in Dubai, with his girlfriend earlier this month.
The 23-year-old Monegasque driver finished eighth in the 2020 Formula 1 drivers’ Championship with Ferrari, for whom he will have Carlos Sainz as his team-mate in 2021 as the Spaniard replaces Aston Martin-bound Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc’s best race results last season were second place in the opening Austrian Grand Prix and third in the British Grand Prix, along with P4 on three occasions.
In 2019, his first year with Ferrari, he gained his first two F1 victories in back-to-back races, the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
His positive test comes just days after the 2021 calendar was updated following news that the Australian Grand Prix had been delayed until November and the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix postponed indefinitely.
Both were as a result of the global health pandemic which continues to rage around the globe, with Australian authorities having imposed a 14-day quarantine period on overseas arrivals into the country which would be impractical for F1 personnel to serve.