Thomas Ten Brinke has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s opening round of the 2021 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine season after testing positive for COVID-19.
The sixteen-year-old Dutchman had been set to race for ART Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, but two tests for coronavirus have both come back positive, meaning he was forced to pull out and go into quarantine.
Ten Brinke had been absent from both free practice sessions at Imola on Friday and now the reason why has become clear. It is a shame as his team-mates, Gabriele Mini and Grégoire Saucy, ended the second session at the very top of the timesheets.
“So frustrated and gutted to share this news: after arriving in Italy, being careful and followed all the COVID-measurements, my test came out positive twice,” said Ten Brinke on social media.
“That means I can’t make my debut for ART this weekend. For the past months I put all my work and effort into this moment, which now collapses. Obviously I will directly go into quarantine. To all the other drivers this weekend: good luck, and I’ll be back.”
He missed the opening round of the Spanish Formula 4 championship last year and still finished third in the final standings, so there is hope for the Dutchman going into the rest of the season.
The next round of the inaugural Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine season is scheduled for three weeks time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, again as support to Formula 1, with Ten Brinke hopeful of making his series debut in Spain.