F1 admits unvaccinated SA medical driver Alan van der Merwe to miss more races this year

F1 admits unvaccinated SA medical driver Alan van der Merwe to miss more races this year

Alan Van der Merwe being interviewed after assisting in saving Haas' Romain Grosjean in the burning crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.


Alan Van der Merwe being interviewed after assisting in saving Haas’ Romain Grosjean in the burning crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.

 • SA F1 medical car driver Alan van der Merwe could possibly lose work due to not wanting to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
 • The driver had tested positive for Covid, now for the second time, ahead of the Turkish GP.
 • The FIA has announced van der Merwe will miss several more races this season. 
 • For motoring news, go to Wheels24.


F1’s regular medical car driver will not be permitted in some countries set to host the final Grands Prix of 2021.

In Turkey, the official medical car occupants Alan van der Merwe – the driver – and Dr Ian Roberts had to sit out the race after testing positive to Covid.

READ | SA’s F1 medical driver Alan van der Merwe could lose his job over vaccine stance – report

But in the days afterwards, South African van der Merwe went public to reveal that he is not vaccinated and therefore may have to skip several more races.

“From what we understand, there are a couple of countries where you will probably not be allowed to enter unless you are vaccinated,” F1 race director Michael Masi now confirms.

“From that perspective, the FIA obviously has to respect the requirements of each country that we visit, which includes all of the teams and everybody else.”

It is believed van der Merwe will therefore have to sit out forthcoming Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

He and Dr Roberts were replaced in Turkey by Formula E’s regular medical car crew.

“Both Alan and Ian were available all weekend on the other end of the phone to help Dr Franceschini and Bruno Correia with their acclimatisation to this role,” said Masi.

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