Rosberg concern at Singapore Zika risk

Published: 06th September 2016 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2016 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

MONZA: Nico Rosberg has sought advice from Mercedes team doctors ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix amid concerns over a "very high" risk of catching the Zika virus.

Five of the remaining seven races this season will be staged in countries that have reported cases of Zika, leaving Rosberg anxious to be as prepared as possible with a wife, Vivian, and one-year-old daughter, Alaia, back at home in Monaco.

There is no suggestion that Rosberg, who closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship to two points when he won the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, will miss the race in Singapore on Sept 18, but he has still sought medical advice.

"As a family man now, I am very interested and am looking into it," he said. "I have started discussions about it already, actually."

The virus, carried by mosquitos, can cause birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads and undeveloped brains. Pregnant women have been warned not to travel to countries badly affected by Zika and men having children have also been told to take precautions.

All the teams have given their staff an extensive briefing on Zika ahead of the trip to Singapore. There have been 242 reported cases in the country in the past week - there were none 10 days ago - and the Foreign Office describes the risk of catching Zika there as "very high".

Staff in the paddock from some teams will be issued with long-sleeve tops as well as sprays to try to prevent mosquito bites.

Although no Formula One personnel are expected to miss Singapore, it is understood that around five members of the Williams team are not attending the races in Mexico and Brazil in October and

November respectively. There have also been cases in Malaysia and even Texas, where the US Grand Prix will be staged in Austin.

Meanwhile, there was still no sign of a deal to complete the sale of F1 yesterday. Liberty Media has been in advanced talks with CVC Capital Partners, the majority shareholders, but there are still two other interested parties involved.

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