McLaren wary of COVID threat to Constructors' P3 battle

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McLaren F1 boss Andrea Seidl says a positive case of COVID-19 among his troops could jeopardize the team's efforts in the fierce battle for P3 that rages in the Constructors' championship.

Renault holds a one-point lead over McLaren and Racing Point in the standings, with four races to go. As the trio heads into a thrilling showdown, the slightest disruption could lead to any one of the contenders losing its footing, and a significant financial windfall.

As positive coronavirus cases continue to trend higher in Europe, risks of contagion within a team are also increasing, inciting Seidl to boost McLaren's protective measures.

"Luck and bad luck with corona can help decide the three-way battle for third place in the constructors’ championship," said the German, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"Our people are extremely disciplined and the team does a great job. But of course, you also need luck. It’s so easy to get infected and a lot of things in hotels or airports are beyond our control."

McLaren can however control the processes and protocols in force at its Woking Factory.

"People in the factory can never meet," Seidl explained. "When the shift changes, we avoid overlapping the two shifts. One shift finishes, then there is a break and the next shift starts a little later.

"The big meetings, like the post-race speech in front of the team, have been cancelled. We are now doing that on digital platforms.

"We have a pool of people who are on call at home – former members of the racing team or those who work in vehicle construction."

Both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were sidelined at one point this year by the coronavirus. Former McLaren charger Stoffel Vandoorne would be the team's go-to substitue in the event that either Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris test positive.

But Sky F1's Paul di Resta could also get the call-up. "In an absolute emergency, we would have a seat ready for Paul di Resta too," Seidl said.

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