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    Racing Point suggests season-long restrictive bubble after Sergio Pérez tests positive

    Synopsis

    The Mexican driver is the first in F1 to contract Covid-19.

    Reuters
    After Sergio Pérez tested positive for the coronavirus, it was revealed after that the driver had flown home to Mexico to visit his mother post the Hungarian Grand Prix.
    Formula One may consider imposing a season-long restrictive bubble between Formula One personnel and the rest of the world after Sergio Pérez became the sport’s first driver to contract the virus.

    After Pérez tested positive for the virus on Thursday, it was revealed after that the driver had flown home to Mexico to visit his mother post the Hungarian Grand Prix. Racing Point’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer defended Pérez, saying he was within the FIA’s current code of conduct as he made the trip.

    “I don’t think Checo did anything wrong going back to his family. He took all the precautions, it is no different than Ferrari going back to Italy,” defended Szafnauer.

    However, he did add that perhaps the FIA should consider putting in place a season-long restrictive bubble. “In hindsight perhaps we should look at that and change the code and say throughout the season you stay in your bubble. That is something for the FIA to consider. The code of conduct is a living document as we learn this process.”

    Do restrictive bubbles work?
    Formula One isn’t the first sport to consider a bubble. A few months ago, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that they would be corralling all players, coaches and team/league personnel at one place - Disney World in Orlando, Florida - to resume the season in a safe manner. Upon arrival at the NBA bubble, every player, coach and staff member had to self-isolate in their rooms for up to 48 hours until they received two negative COVID-19 tests.

    Players and personnel are allowed to leave the ‘NBA bubble’ with the understanding that they will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days upon their return.

    Although the idea of a bubble seemed ridiculous at first, it does seem to be working for the sport. On July 29, the NBA and players' union announced that none of the 344 players tested since July 20 had tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Tennis also seems to be taking a page of the NBA’s rulebook. Even as coronavirus cases in the US are rising, US Open organizers say they are confident of their safety plans as look to start the tournament on August 31 in a bubble quarantine setting without spectators at the National Tennis Center. So far, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have committed to playing in the US Open.

    From Olympics To Football & Cricket: Sports 2020 Stands Cancelled

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    Half-Time

    The summer of sport is in jeopardy. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, organisers are cutting their losses and either cancelling or postponing marquee sporting events till the public health crisis abates.

    The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed.

    Here’s a roundup of all the major sporting events that have been upended by coronavirus.


    The Economic Times