Racing Point driver Sergio Perez is forced to miss the British Grand Prix after testing positive for the novel Covid-19 coronavirus. The Mexican therefore needed to hand his car over to his former team-mate Nico Hülkenberg.
Ahead of the restart of the coronavirus-interrupted season, Formula One has put strict measures in place. This protocol includes constant tests for anyone wishing to enter the paddock. So far only two people have been testing positive for the coronavirus, but neither of them were in the paddock.
On Thursday, however, this season’s most sensational and arguably most controversial team, the Racing Point outfit issued a statament in which it stated that Sergio Perez’s test result was inconclusive and it required a second test to define the Mexican’s state of health. The second test showed that the Guadalajara-born driver has indeed become infected with the novel coronavirus.
In a video message uploaded on his Twitter account, the Mexican said: "I am extremely sad. It is one of the saddest days of my career. The amount of preparation that we put into the weekend, to be 100% ready for it. I knew I had a great car underneath me and the team have done a fantastic job.
Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Mexican took a private plane to fly to his native Mexico to see her mum. Despite rumours suggesting he had a party with his friend, Perez insists that he adhered to the necessary protocols.
"I followed all the instructions from the FIA, from my team. After Hungary I took a private plane to go to Mexico, to see my mum for two days because she had a big accident. So as soon as she left hospital. I was able to see her. And then I came back to Europe. Same way, all the protocols in place.”
"I don't know from where [I caught it]. I have no symptoms at all. So it just shows how vulnerable we are on this. I want to thank all my fellow drivers for all the support that they've given me. My team. The authorities. The fans. Certainly tough moments for me at the moment, but I'm sure I will come back stronger from this,” he concluded.