Perez asymptomatic for Covid-19, insists he followed FIA protocol with Mexico trip

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Sergio Perez has revealed he is asymptomatic after testing positive for Covid-19 in the wake of a trip to Mexico.

The Racing Point driver will miss the next two races at Silverstone at least after it was confirmed he is currently suffering from the coronavirus, and will spend 10 days in self-isolation per UK health guidelines.

Perez is the first driver known to have contracted the virus despite strict protocols in place to protect all Formula 1 personnel.

But on Friday, he maintained he had not broken any of the current restrictions when revealing he had returned home in the two-week break since Hungary. 

“Hi everybody, as you know I tested positive for Covid-19,” Perez said in a video on Twitter. “I’m really sad this happened but it shows how vulnerable we are all to this virus.

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“I followed all of the instructions from the FIA and my team, after Hungary, to take a private plane to Mexico to see my mum for two days as she had a big accident.

“As soon as she left hospital I could see her, then I came back to Europe the same way, with all the protocols in place.

“I got it [Covid-19], I don’t know from where, I have no symptoms at all, it shows how vulnerable we all are.

“I want to thank my fellow drivers for all the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, the fans, it is a tough moment for me at the moment but I’m sure I will come back stronger from this.

“Stay safe, look after yourself, and your families, and I hope to see you soon at the race track.”

His positive test left Racing Point scrambling to find a replacement, which they got in Nico Hulkenberg, but commenting on Perez's activities, CEO Otmar Szafnauer defended his driver.

"We've got no clauses in the contract where he's got to ask permission to go back to his family," he told the media on Friday.

"I think his family was in Mexico and it's not a surprise that he went back to Mexico; that's what he's done forever while he's been driving for us.

"We did, though, discuss how he was flying there and back, and it was always by a private flight, never commercially. There's no issue with that."

Even so, the American does confirm the team will now investigate when it is most likely Perez was exposed to the virus.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing," he admitted. "There are many people that are in hot spots all around the world.

"We have a big contingent of our factory who live in Northampton, and you know Northampton was shut down as well. So our philosophy is we take all the precautions necessary in light of where we are travelling.

"If we do take those precautions, I'm confident that we won't get the virus. We just need to now forensically look back and try to ascertain how Checo became infected, and make sure that we cover that off in the future."