Friday, 07 August, 2020

Sergio Perez isolating after 'inconclusive' coronavirus test

Panic in F1 paddock? Perez skips press conference due to inconclusive coronatest Hulkenberg to replace Perez for British GP after positive Covid-19 test
Cary Erickson | 01 August, 2020, 15:08

Nico Hulkenberg on Friday reflected on a "special, insane and wild" 24 hours that saw him make a dramatic overnight return to Formula One at the British Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez was the only person to have tested positive for COVID-19 from Formula 1's latest round of testing ahead of the British Grand Prix.

"The procedures we take as a team and collectively as Formula 1, we do everything that we can to ensure that as little unnecessary contact is made either at the race event, away from the race event, or within the factory".

With confirmation that grands prix would not be canned in the event of a positive test teams therefore needed standbys at the ready. I knew I had a great vehicle underneath me, and the team has done a fantastic job. "It just shows how vulnerable we all are to this".

"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", a statement from the FIA said.

Perez travelled back to his native Mexico after the Hungarian Grand Prix in order to visit his family, in particular his mother, who he revealed had suffered a "big accident", and had only just been released from hospital. "And then I came back to Europe". And I just don't know from where I got it.

"Tough moments for me but I am sure I will come back stronger".

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The German left Formula 1 at the end of past year having been replaced by Esteban Ocon at Renault for 2020, but of course previously spent five seasons at the team then known as Force India, initially as reserve driver before racing for them in 2012 and between 2014-2016.

Racing Point chose Hulkenberg over Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, who is the Mercedes reserve driver for this weekend and they had a contractual right to call on had they wanted to due to their links with the world champions.

Perez has been ruled out of this weekend's race at Silverstone, with Nico Hulkenberg acting as stand-in for the Mexican at Racing Point.

"I started thinking about this when Checo's first test was inconclusive", said Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer on the situation.

"That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now - but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one".

Gutierrez though has hinted that he could be in line for a return to Formula One with Racing Point. "He's a buddy of mine, an old team-mate and I wish him a speedy recovery".