Lando Norris becomes fourth Formula One driver to test positive for COVID-19

Lando Norris COVID-19 positive

McLaren driver Lando Norris is self-isolating for two weeks after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the driver and his team confirmed on social media Tuesday.

Norris posted that he lost his senses of taste and smell Monday and immediately took a test while entering self-isolation.

“It’s come back as positive, so I’ve told everyone that I’ve been in contact with and will be self-isolating for the next 14 days,” wrote Norris, who said he felt fine and had no other symptoms.

The McLaren F1 team said Norris tested positive while in Dubai for a vacation ahead of a planned training camp.

Norris became the fourth Formula One driver to test positive for COVID-19.

Seven-time series champion Lewis Hamilton missed a race in Bahrain with COVID-19 (snapping a streak of 265 consecutive starts) but was able to return for the series finale in Abu Dhabi.

Sergio Perez, who recently moved from Racing Point to Red Bull, missed two consecutive races at Silverstone after a trip to his native Mexico to visit his mother.

Teammate Lance Stroll pulled out of the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring a day before the Oct. 11 race because he felt unwell. Stroll later said he tested positive for COVID-19 after testing negative in F1’s mandatory testing before every race weekend.

All drivers were cleared to return after isolating for 10 days and receiving negative tests. It’s expected Norris would be ready to return when Formula One begins the 2021 season, which is scheduled to begin with the Australian Grand Prix in March.

During the 2020 season (whose start was delayed by the pandemic), Formula One administered thousands of tests before and during every race weekend, limiting paddock access to those who test negative.

During his second F1 season, Norris finished ninth in the 2020 points standings and earned his first podium with a third place in the season opener at Austria.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”