Sergio Perez says he followed all of the protocols he was required to in returning to Mexico to visit his injured mother, after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the British Grand Prix.
Perez became the first Formula 1 driver to test positive for the virus on Thursday and now must self-isolate for 10 days in the UK, ruling him out of both races at Silverstone. The Mexican says he returned home after the race in Hungary in order to visit his mother after she was released from hospital and is unsure where he picked up the virus having not suffered any symptoms.
“As you know I tested positive for COVID-19,” Perez said. “I am extremely sad, definitely one of the saddest days in my career. The amount of preparation we put into this weekend to be 100% ready for it… I knew I had a great car underneath me, that the team had done a fantastic job.
“It just shows how vulnerable we all are to this virus. I followed all the instructions from the FIA and from my team. After Hungary I took a private plane to go to Mexico to see my mom for two days because she had a big accident, so as soon as she left hospital I was able to see her. Then I came back to Europe in the same way with all the protocols in place.
“I don’t know where I got it from. I have no symptoms at all. So it just shows how vulnerable we all are to this. I want to thank all my fellow drivers for all the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, and the fans.
“Certainly they are tough moments for me at the moment but I am sure I will come back stronger from this. Just stay safe, look after yourselves, after your families and I hope to see you soon at a racetrack.”
Perez has been replaced by former teammate Nico Hulkenberg at Racing Point this weekend, with the German also expected to deputize at the second race at Silverstone on August 9.