UPDATE: 6:31am Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo were the latest F1 drivers to be given random drugs tests this morning.
Formula One adheres to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s protocols and drivers are often tested during race weekends – five of them were during last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But they may also be subjected to unscheduled tests outside of competitions to ensure they are not using drugs such as steroids to strengthen their muscles, or other performance enhancers.
The FIA’s Race True campaign instructs drivers on what substances they must avoid. But some competitors think the sport should go further.
One of them is Mark Webber, who has spoken out on the subject more than once, urging the FIA to adopt more stringent measures.
“I’ve always been championing the idea to do more of it, but the FIA have never really been that strong on it,” he said last year.
Webber is a former friend of Lance Armstrong, the disgraced cyclist who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories for drug use. Earlier this year he described how their friendship fractured as the truth emerged about Armstrong’s drug-taking.
Formula One has so far avoided a similar scandal but it is not unknown in the motor racing world.
Last year former F1 driver Tomas Enge was handed an 18-month ban after failing a drugs test for the second time in his career. In 2002 he lost his Formula 3000 championship victory when he was stripped of a race win in Hungary after cannabis was found in his system.