Formula One driver Sergio Perez has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Mexican was self-isolating from the rest of the paddock on Thursday after an initial test came back as “inconclusive,” his Racing Point team said, before a retest confirmed he had the coronavirus.
“With assistance of the local organizer 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,” F1 and the FIA said in a statement.
“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.”
Perez will remain in self-isolation for 10 days, per the UK’s guidelines, which also rules him out of next weekend’s grand prix at the same track.
Racing Point has confirmed that Niko Hulkenberg, who raced for Renault as recently as last season, has temporarily taken the team’s empty seat.
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It’s a bitter blow for Perez who has started the season impressively, currently sitting in sixth place thanks to a vastly improved Racing Point car.
“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,” Racing Point said in a statement on Friday.
The 30-year-old is the first driver to test positive for the coronavirus since the delayed and shortened season began earlier this month.
Racing Point has also moved a small group of team members that were in contact with Perez into self-isolation as a precaution and are retesting them, a team spokesperson confirmed to F1.