McLaren wary of COVID threat to Constructors' P3 battle

McLaren F1 boss Andrea Seidl says a positive case of COVID-19 among his troops could jeopardize the team's... The post McLaren wary of COVID threat to Constructors' P3 battle appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren wary of COVID threat to Constructors' P3 battle

McLaren F1 boss Andrea Seidl says a positive case of COVID-19 among his troops could jeopardize the team's efforts in the fierce battle for P3 that rages in the Constructors' championship.

Renault holds a one-point lead over McLaren and Racing Point in the standings, with four races to go. As the trio heads into a thrilling showdown, the slightest disruption could lead to any one of the contenders losing its footing, and a significant financial windfall.

As positive coronavirus cases continue to trend higher in Europe, risks of contagion within a team are also increasing, inciting Seidl to boost McLaren's protective measures.

"Luck and bad luck with corona can help decide the three-way battle for third place in the constructors’ championship," said the German, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"Our people are extremely disciplined and the team does a great job. But of course, you also need luck. It’s so easy to get infected and a lot of things in hotels or airports are beyond our control."

McLaren can however control the processes and protocols in force at its Woking Factory.

"People in the factory can never meet," Seidl explained. "When the shift changes, we avoid overlapping the two shifts. One shift finishes, then there is a break and the next shift starts a little later.

"The big meetings, like the post-race speech in front of the team, have been cancelled. We are now doing that on digital platforms.

"We have a pool of people who are on call at home – former members of the racing team or those who work in vehicle construction."

Both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were sidelined at one point this year by the coronavirus. Former McLaren charger Stoffel Vandoorne would be the team's go-to substitue in the event that either Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris test positive.

But Sky F1's Paul di Resta could also get the call-up. "In an absolute emergency, we would have a seat ready for Paul di Resta too," Seidl said.

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Hamilton hails 'great partnership' with physio Angela Cullen

As he grinds his way to a seventh F1 world title, Lewis Hamilton recently paid tribute to his... The post Hamilton hails 'great partnership' with physio Angela Cullen appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton hails 'great partnership' with physio Angela Cullen

As he grinds his way to a seventh F1 world title, Lewis Hamilton recently paid tribute to his right-hand woman, physiotherapist and confidant Angela Cullen.

Cullen is a ubiquitous presence in Hamilton's life on the road, and her job description includes a lot more than ensuring the Mercedes driver's physical and mental preparation on race weekends.

A guardian angel of sorts that has been at Hamilton's side since 2016, Cullen also looks after the Briton's diet, agenda, travel arrangements and much more.

Unsurprisingly, the soon-to-be seven-time World Champion hails the relationship with his diminutive but "selfless" and bright-smiling protector as "the greatest partnership".

"People for sure won’t understand it, naturally, because they see it from a distance, but she has been one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in my life," Hamilton told Ziggo Sport.

"I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of people… and she’s the single hardest-working woman that I get to be around.

"She’s focused, selfless, and she makes my weekends peaceful," Hamilton added. "Every day I wake up, whatever time it is, she’s just positive – never a single day has she been negative, so that’s very, very important.

"I think it’s important in life to put positive people around you. You can’t be going around with deadweights, you can’t be going around with people who don’t inspire you to be better and lift you up when you’re down.

"You need to be around people who can do that for you, and she’s one of them."

Cullen was assigned to Hamilton in 2016 by Hintsa Performance, the science-based high-performance coaching company founded by the late Dr. Aki Hintsa, the orthopaedic and trauma surgery specialist who looked after two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen.

But Hamilton says Cullen's role has never been that of a typical physical trainer.

"When you come into Formula 1, there’s this whole idea of physios, but a lot of them, or some of them, are just trainers," said Hamilton.

"They still take on the title of ‘physio’ – but a physio is a physiotherapist, and for years, I’d always had a male trainer, but I noticed that I was always having different problems.

"I’d have, like, muscle tightness in my neck, or I’d have problems with my lower back, or glute, whatever it might be, and my trainer could never fix it.

"So you’d have to just deal with it through the weekend and I was like, ‘This doesn’t make sense. I don’t need to train on the weekends.’ So I was like, ‘I need to find a physio.’

"Angela had done a bit of work on me back home, so I spoke to her and asked her, ‘Would you like to come on the road with me?’ and little did I know that we would have the greatest partnership."

Hamilton's 85-point lead in the championship could allow for the Briton's seventh coronation this weekend at Istanbul, or his fourth world title since working with the ever-present Angela Cullen.

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