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

Lando Norris COVID-19 positive
HAMAD I MOHAMMED/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
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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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.