No more F1 ban for unvaccinated people

Unvaccinated members of the Formula 1 community will be able to return to the paddock in 2023.

For 2022, the FIA and Formula 1 made getting fully vaccinated against covid-19 a requirement of attending grands prix.

Medical car driver Alan van de Merwe and 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, a pundit for the broadcaster Sky, have therefore been locked out of the paddock ever since.

“Should some people’s health be sacrificed for the greater good of a vaccine rollout?” van de Merwe said at the time.

And although Rosberg’s drivers’ title granted him a paddock pass for life, he also said ‘no’ to the vaccine.

“I recovered well from the corona disease and therefore have strong antibodies,” said the German.

“Under these circumstances, my doctor advised me that vaccination would make absolutely no sense.”

But at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Bologna on Wednesday, it was decided that the sport’s “covid-19 protocol” will be “relaxed” for 2023.

Now, as long as an attendee is not actively infected by covid, they will no longer need to be vaccinated “to enter high-density areas” including the paddock.

“The FIA will no longer organise on-site testing facilities but will inform stakeholders about test facilities available locally to venues,” the FIA added.

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