Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that an inconclusive COVID-19 test after the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello briefly put him in a state of panic.
Since the start of this year’s disrupted F1 season in July, thanks to a series of stringent protocols, procedures and extensive testing, COVID-19 cases in and outside of the paddock have been extremely limited.
However, Sergio Perez tested positive ahead of the British Grand Prix while Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll also returned a positive result after the Eifel Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, who tested positive during the run-up to last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, has been the sport’s highest profile coronavirus victim.
Read also: Hamilton ‘feeling great’ after hard week – resumes training
But Renault’s Ricciardo feared at one point last summer that he had contracted the novel virus that has turned the world upside down.
“I did wake up one morning with a false-positive, so I had a scare at 6am one morning,” he said, quoted by Autosport.
“It wasn’t a false positive, [it was] inconclusive. Still scared me though!
“Then trying to figure out, okay we’ve got to get tested again, and there was a bit of panic and that wasn’t fun.
“Obviously, I was fine in the end but that obviously was something I hadn’t gone through before and then you start playing games in your head like ‘do I feel a little..’ and ‘maybe I do have it and just’, but that was a bit of panic one morning.”
Ricciardo said that from the outset of the season he has adopted a cautious behaviour to keep himself out of the virus’ way.
“As the season went on I became more and more disciplined with isolating or just taking care of myself, especially after Checo got it and I was like ‘Okay so this isn’t a joke’.
“I was being very careful so I was quite surprised [by the result of the test]. Obviously, in the end, I didn’t have it but I was scratching my head.”
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