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F1 Medical Car driver replaced ahead of new season

Alan van der Merwe will no longer act as F1's Medical Car driver in 2022, with Bruno Correia stepping into the role – at least for the start of the season.

Formula 1 will have a new Medical Car driver for the 2022 campaign, with Bruno Correia taking over from Alan van der Merwe, an FIA spokesperson has confirmed to RacingNews365.com . Van der Merwe started driving the Medical Car at Grands Prix in 2009 and was recently joined in the passenger seat by Dr Ian Roberts, the FIA F1 Medical Rescue Co-Ordinator and Deputy Medical Delegate. However, at this weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Formula E Safety Car driver Bruno Correia will take over at the wheel. Correia will not do duty at all rounds, though, as he has other commitments during the season.

Van der Merwe's run-in with COVID-19

The move comes after van der Merwe and Roberts both missed last year's Turkish Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19. The FIA nominated Correia for duty during the Istanbul Park event, after which it emerged that van der Merwe had not been vaccinated against the virus, putting his attendance at future events in doubt. "I am fully aware that I will potentially be less employable or that my freedom of movement will be restricted based on my choices," the Swiss-South African said on social media at the time. "That I will not choose convenience over my own health does not mean I am making decisions out of selfishness. We all just want to be healthy." With the FIA's COVID protocols from this year demanding that all F1 passholders be fully vaccinated to the standards of their home country, van der Merwe's stance means he is no longer eligible for Medical Car duties. Bernd Maylander will continue to drive F1's Safety Car.

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