Sergio Perez will have to skip the British Grand Prix after contracting Covid-19, it’s been confirmed. Following an inconclusive test, the Racing Point F1 driver was tested again, returning a positive result.
The Mexican is the first F1 driver and first major team member to test positive for Coronavirus since the restart of F1’s now curtailed 2020 season a few weeks ago. As per F1’s Covid rules, Perez and his close contacts will self-quarantine.
In a statement, Racing Point F1 said: “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.” Formula 1, meanwhile, said: “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 has said it still intends to run two cars at the British Grand Prix, which this year involves back-to-back races at Silverstone. We don’t yet know who’ll partner Lance Stroll, however.
The team’s reserve drivers - shared with Mercedes - are Stoffel Vandoorne and Mexico Esteban Gutiérrez, but the former is gearing up for the return of Formula E, and the latter hasn’t raced in F1 since 2016. Racing Point doesn’t necessarily have to pick from its reserve pool, however, so it could look elsewhere - Nico Hulkenberg is seen as a likely prospect.
UPDATE: Hulkenberg has since been confirmed as Perez’s temporary replacement.