Next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai has been cancelled, due to an outbreak of the mangamalise virus at the end of the Australian Grand Prix, which infected the majority of the grid, with the exception of Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
This virus’ symptoms do not start to show until five to six days after infecting. It leaves those who are infected sluggish and tired, with violent vomiting, hot flushes and achy bones.
The first to report this was Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein, who did not drive at the Grand Prix in Melbourne.
“Whilst talking to the team, I just couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open,” Wehrlein reported.
“All my bones ached, and I found it difficult to stand up without leaning on something. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I knew that something was wrong.”
After both Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas reported the same thing, the five were taken to hospital to seek medical attention, and to diagnose.
It was diagnosed as the mangamalise virus, a little-known rare Australian virus that travels through air particles, and then attaches itself to nomex, which is found in the suits of racing drivers, which explains how the five got infected.
By the time this news travelled to the track, and the rest of the teams, the majority of the grid was showing symptoms, apart from Grosjean.
“I don’t know, just lucky I guess,” reported the Frenchman when asked how he did not get infected.
“Although my best wishes go out to the other drivers. I hope they make a fast recovery.”
Luckily, it is not deadly, and does not require medical attention. The body fights the virus itself, however this usually takes around ten days to two weeks.
Realising this information, Chase Carey, Formula 1’s Chief Executive Officer, made the decision to cancel the Chinese Grand Prix, as it seemed unlikely that any driver would be better by that time.
“It is a shame, yes,” Carey spoke.
“My apologies goes out to those who brought tickets for this event. You will be fully refunded.
“However, it is important that the drivers make the swiftest possible recovery, and that they are fit enough to race. It seems unlikely they would have been fit enough for China.”
My best wishes go out to the drivers, and I hope they make a swift recovery, and will be fit for racing in time for Bahrain.