Sergio Perez has become the first Formula 1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Mexican returned an inconclusive test result ahead of this weekend’s race and so was self-isolating awaiting a re-test, but that second test has now shown Perez to test positive. As a result, he will not take part in this weekend’s race at Silverstone.
“Following today’s announcement that Sergio Perez of the BWT Racing Point Formula 1 Team produced an inconclusive test result for COVID-19 at the Silverstone Circuit ahead of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix, the FIA and Formula 1 can now confirm that the result of his re-test is positive,” an FIA statement read.
“Perez has entered self-quarantine in accordance with the instructions of the relevant public health authorities, and will continue to follow the procedure mandated by those authorities.
“With assistance of the local organizer of the British Grand Prix, local health authorities and the FIA COVID-19 delegate, a full track and trace initiative has been undertaken and all close contacts have been quarantined.
“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 have provided for swift containment of an incident that will have no wider impact on this weekend’s event.”
Racing Point confirmed that Perez is feeling well but will have to miss this weekend’s race in line with all medical advice, with the team looking at temporary replacements for him.
“Following the announcement that Sergio has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Silverstone Circuit ahead of the Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix, the team regrets to announce that he will be unable to participate in this weekend’s race,” a Racing Point statement read.
“Sergio is physically well and in good spirits, but he will continue to self-isolate under the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for the team and the sport. The entire team wishes Sergio well and looks forward to welcoming him back into the cockpit of the RP20 soon.
“Our intention is to race two cars on Sunday. We will communicate the next steps for our British Grand Prix weekend in due course.”
Racing Point has an agreement with Mercedes to call upon reserve drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne if required, but RACER understands Nico Hulkenberg is also in the frame to replace Perez.