Sergio Perez tests positive for coronavirus, misses British GP

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Racing Point’s Sergio Perez has tested positive for the coronavirus and will not compete in this weekend’s British GP.

The Mexican self-isolated and sidelined from the Silverstone paddock on Thursday after an “inconclusive” result led to a retest.

This test has now returned a positive result.

Perez is the first driver and frontline member of an F1 team to test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the delayed season earlier this month.

All close contact with the driver has also been quarantined, with strict F1 track and trace protocols adopted. The FIA ​​says the incident will have “no wider impact” on how the Silverstone weekend unfolds.

“Perez has entered self-quarantine in accordance with instructions from the relevant public health authorities and will continue to follow the procedure mandated by those authorities,” read a statement from the FIA.

“With the help of the local British Grand Prix organizer, local health authorities and the FIA ​​COVID-19 delegate, a comprehensive tracking and traceability initiative was undertaken and all close contacts were quarantined.

“The procedures established by the FIA ​​and Formula 1 made it possible to quickly contain an incident which will not have a wider impact on this weekend’s event. “

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Sergio Perez was absent from his media duties on Thursday, with Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll alone in a press conference.

Sergio Perez was absent from his media duties on Thursday, with Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll alone in a press conference.

Racing Point says Perez is “physically well and in good spirits” and will continue to self-isolate according to health guidelines.

“The whole team wishes Sergio the best of luck and looks forward to welcoming him back into the cockpit of the RP20,” said the team.

“Our intention is to race two cars on Sunday. We will communicate the next steps for our British Grand Prix weekend in due course. ”

F1 holds back-to-back races at Silverstone. Sunday’s British GP is followed by next week’s 70th anniversary GP

F1’s strict and extensive COVID-19 protocols have included contingencies in hopes that frontline staff will test positive within the year.

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Sky F1’s Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle look to this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Sky F1’s Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle look to this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Who could drive Perez’s house at Silverstone?

Racing Point does not have a reserve driver for 2020 but, as Mercedes engine customers, they have access to the reserve list of world champions – former racing drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne.

But neither drove the team’s RP20 and last raced in F1 in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

Vandoorne is also currently preparing for the return of Formula E next week to Berlin, where he will race for Mercedes’ own team.

Racing Point could look to other potential options as well. Their former driver Nico Hulkenberg, for example, is currently alone and raced in F1 just last season with Renault.

Racing Point is set to race near the front of the field at Silverstone again after a big step forward over the winter with a car that has sparked controversy among rivals due to its similarity to the 2019 Mercedes.

Lance Stroll, who was last fourth in Hungary, is Perez’s teammate.

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