Sergio Pérez will miss Formula 1’s double-header at the Silverstone Circuit after the bombshell news that the Racing Point driver had tested positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The Mexican was a noticeable absentee on Thursday’s traditional media day in the lead up to this weekend’s British Grand Prix. His initial test proved inconclusive, with the subsequent second test proving positive.
“Following today’s announcement that Sergio Pérez 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,” a statement from the FIA reads.
“Pérez 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 organiser 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.”
It is understood that Pérez made a brief visit to Mexico after the Hungarian Grand Prix to visit his mother who had taken ill. He claims to have followed all health and safety protocols on his travels to prevent contracting the virus.
Racing Point – which will now have to scramble to find a replacement driver for the next two weekends – issued a statement confirming that Pérez is “physically well and in good spirits”.
“Our intention is to race two cars on Sunday. We will communicate the next steps for our British Grand Prix weekend in due course,” the Silverstone team confirmed.
The team has access to the factory Mercedes team’s two reserve drivers, Stoffel Vandoorna and Esteban Gutiérrez – the former is not considered a likely candidate as he is in Berlin preparing to contest the six Formula E Championship races that will close out the series’ truncated season.
Image via BWT Racing Point Formula 1 Team