Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Perez ruled out of British GP after testing positive for Covid-19

2020 British Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez will not take part in the British Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Racing Point driver was not present at the circuit during media activities on Thursday after his original test produced an unclear result. A subsequent test returned a positive result.

Racing Point said Perez 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.

“The entire team wishes Sergio well and looks forward to welcoming him back into the cockpit of the RP20 soon,” the team added.

The FIA confirmed in a statement they have begun to track and trace all F1 personnel Perez has been in touch with.

“Following today’s announcement that Sergio Perez 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,” said the FIA in a statement.

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“Perez 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.”

Racing Point said they intend to run two cars this weekend but have not indicated who they may call on to partner Lance Stroll in their line-up. The team has an arrangement with power unit supplier Mercedes to make use of of its reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez if needed.

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Due to a technical error some earlier comments on this article have been lost and cannot be retrieved. Apologies to everyone who has been affected.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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89 comments on “Perez ruled out of British GP after testing positive for Covid-19”

  1. Enough with all the drama please. Over 99 percent survives.

    The problem is that we have seen young people, in perfect health an even semi-pro athletes who are suffering from the side effects of the illness after they survived it. It is unclear if these people will ever fully recover.

  2. Stoffel on podium!!!

    1. Isn’t he in Berlin for FE?

    2. I doubt that Mercedes will allow Stoffel to drive. He can win the Formula E championship in Berlin.

      1. @jacquesnotvilleneuve Who cares really?

        Besides, Stoffel has won titles in series that had faster cars than FE does and against arguably better competition. FE is essentially like F2/F3, Super Formula or IndyLights (but for maturely aged drivers I guess), had Stoffel still been in any of those categories he’d jump in at a moments notice because it is an opportunity to race in a tier 1 series. For Mercedes it’s a marketing thing of course and they pay his salary, so they decide for him, but I doubt he’d choose FE over F1 himself.

        1. dont talk down FE so much, it is a very successful racing series with first rate drivers and huge competition. One day it will merge with F1 when F1 runs out of reasons to continue with internal combustion.

        2. Grosjean left GP2vwhen he was going to win the championship to drive in F1 sooner than expected.
          Although he is not one of the best F1 drivers, the way he entered in F1 (sacrificing his GP2 results) did not help him to develop as a driver.

    3. Gutierrez got the seat (according to RTBF who has good contacts with Stoffel)! Understandable even if Vandoorne would have been preferable.

        1. Yes, seems to go that way. Surprised as this is usually a reliable source (maybe they just knew it wouldn’t be Vandoorne and deducted it would be the other reserve).

          I would rather have Hulk than Gutierrez. Would be some story if he got his first podium in such circumstances.

    4. Perez felt “dizzy” in Hungary 10 days ago, i remember.

      We may see more cases popping up

  3. Though luck for Perez, he must feel really helpless when he doesn’t show any symptoms but can’t race for two race weekends. I hope Vandoorne gets his seat, there are also rumours Hulkenberg could – but Guttierez seems like the least exciting option.

    1. He doesn’t show any symptoms *yet*…

    2. Wasn’t he feeling ill and Dizzy?

      1. Indeed he was. Blamed his lackluster qualifying on it I believe.

        1. .. in Hungary I should say

    3. ‘Though luck’ ;D

    4. I would not say that this is bad luck. He risked too much.
      I wished that Racing Point picked Hulk or Stoffel, but Slim might ensure that Gutierrez (the driver who got destroyed by Grosjean) gets the seat.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        31st July 2020, 9:37


        Grosjean was reasonably highly rated in 2016 and he didn’t not destroy Gutierrez by the margin many seem to think.

        When they both finished, Gutierrez finished ahead 7 out of 13 times. So more than half. No way did he have a better season on the whole, but generally, when the car was weaker, he seemed to struggle less than Grosjean. When the car was strong, he had a couple of reasonable races at the start, but he had to retire in both. To be more realistic if both had even luck, Gutierrez would likely have roughly half of Grosjean’s points. Grosjean was clearly better, but he didn’t destroy Gutierrez. It is only the points that make it look that way.

        Gutierrez also has been the test driver for Mercedes for 3 years. So if the Racing point really is such a clone of the 2019 Mercedes, with all the experience he has of this and other teams as test / reserve driver, I personally think he’s the best choice that is easy to get hold of.

    5. Since Checo apparently went out and partied with his family in Mexico and Italy without taking any freaking precautions, I have zero sympathy for him.

      His teammates who may wind up being booted from the British GP, however… Them, I have a great deal of sympathy for.

      1. @grat He went to Mexico and Italy between leaving Hungary later on the race day or the following day, and arriving in England for this weekend’s event?

      2. Apparently he went to visit his mom who had an accident so yeah, judging other people on the internet while eating your cheetos on the couch is a great hobby.

  4. It’d be great for the British fans if George Russell substitutes Sergio Perez. This way the pink Mercedes can maximize the points with an experienced current driver.

    Gutierrez could then drive the Williams while Stoffel Vandoorne focuses on Formula E.

    As to the unfortunate Sergio Perez, I wish him a full recovery.

  5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    30th July 2020, 21:21

    Oh dang. Stoffel’s chance to shine. Hope your test goes the other way @keithcollantine

    1. If he does, it will mean missing the last 6 Formula E races (all from 5th – 13th August)

  6. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
    30th July 2020, 21:27

    My very best to Checo, hopefully no serious effects for him and I also hope all his colleagues are well!

  7. Hoping he’s one of the symptomless.

    Get well soon Check.

  8. Oh no. Such a shame. Stupid Covid. Get well soon, Checo!

    1. Yes, get well soon Checo.
      How the hell is even possible for him to get infected, given how strict the teams management of COVID is with their general mechanics and support staff (team bubbles).
      Sounds more like stupid behavior by the driver (flies back to Mexico and then has a meet n greet with fans)

  9. Autosport are reporting that Hulkenberg might be in the frame.

    1. @sam11333 Oh man if he stood in for one race and somehow grabbed a podium. That’s a redemption/comeback story I could get behind.

      Also, get well soon Checo, and hope he didn’t unwittingly pass it on to anyone else in his bubble.

      1. Oh definitely I’m a big Hulk fan, though if there’s a 10 day isolation period might Checo miss the second Sliverstone race as well?

        1. The official word is “If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms while you’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from when your symptoms started.”

          His 10th day would be the Sunday of the second race, so no chance,

      2. @sam11333 @keithedin
        Can you imagine if Hulkenberg comes back and gets on the final lap his first ever podium…only for FIA to take it way after they find Racing Point’s car illegal?
        Boy that would be super cruel…and if something as crazy as this was going to ever happen, then 2020 is definately that year :P

        1. That’s a whole novel you’ve got right there

    2. Lance on the podium next two races, confirmed!

    3. My doubt is can Hulk fit in the current RP? He is much taller than Checo and Lance, and the car was built for them.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        31st July 2020, 5:59

        Wasn’t that car built for Lewis and Valtteri?

        1. ;). They are indeed much smaller than Hulkenberg.

          Stroll is roughly the same size though. I guess they built an 110% scale model.

      2. @bharat141 He’s 184 cm and Stroll 182 cm, so only a difference of two cm between them, i.e., not massive.

      3. hulk is the same size and stroll.

        1. He’s also driving the car right now in FP1…

  10. Is he physically unfit to drive? I realise the potential risk to others of course, but why cant he drive? He would be sat in a car.. by himself.. with a helmet on..

    He could just be kept away from everyone when not driving, as far as getting in and out of the car goes, he would be wearing a helmet. Add a few other simple procedures and he could race.

    1. Even if you could separate him from the team totally (which would be virtually impossible anyway), if he had a bad crash and needed medical attention you won’t find many marshalls/doctors willing to treat him especially if it would have been easily avoided in the first place.

      Plus all the insurance implications if there were further positives cases in the packet would make even Lawrence Stroll wince as he gets sued left, right and centre.

      1. Maybe I’m overlooking some areas but drivers have already been separated from the teams in that the normal meetings and discussions with engineers have been taking place via video link. They I believe have been in a bubble of only themselves and their trainer. Getting in and out of the car they already have their helmet on and dont linger in the garage, if needed that could easily be done outside too with a little planning and timing.

        Hm good point, but then if anyone at all with with the virus needs emergency medical attention surely they dont get a no just because of the virus? People require emergency medical attention all the time even from home.

        I suppose the could be the only reason not to race but it doesnt mean they woukdnt receive treatment. Necessity lacking though, in fairness
        is a good point.

        There wouldnt be any insurance implications or positive cases if he was kept away from the paddock in the first place.

        I realise it would never happen though. Too much at stake.

        It’s quite possible the championship race could get decided by or atleast be significantly influenced by any of the challenging drivers having to miss races.. they should probably all just wear their helmets in public in between races LOL. Especially on planes.

        1. You have overlooked the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.

          It is a statutory offence to breach the mandatory 10 day isolation period after a positive test. It would also probably shut down all motor sports activities through sheer irresponsibility.

          Do you seriously think that F1 is that much more important than public health?

          1. Okay.

            Seems the main point was missed, about the driving itself.. and lack of need to be in the paddock..

    2. Whole countries go into lockdown just to reduce the chance of spreading, and you suggest to let a proven case to continue his job amongst others.

      If it weren’t illegal (mandatory isolation) it would at least be extremely stupid and immoral.

      1. No actually, I suggested allowing only the part of the job in which there is no contact with anyone..

        1. Sure. If it was possible to have Perez only drive the car, and not interact with anyone, and not potentially have a crash, then I’d bet he is physically well enough to do so. However this is not a realistic premise, and we must be ultimately pragmatic if we hope to contain this illness as much as possible.

      2. Obviously I know it wouldn’t happen, and shouldn’t I’m just talking about the driving.

    3. in F1, we have seen 16 year old kids come in and do 140laps on a test day. Hulk will be fine.

  11. Now would be a good time for teams to have reserve drivers, who are great.

    Is Alonso around? Stuck him in that Mercedes Point, Racing thingy.

    1. I don’t think Renault would be to happy with that :) but it would be awesome to see him on the podium again.

      1. @spafrancorchamps I bet Toto has already been on the phone to RP blocking this, no way that they would want Alonso to get even a tiny bit familiar with their equipment.

        Renault I don’t think will care, would be good data gathering and would help keep Alonso sharp!

        1. Alonso has the Indy 500 to prepare for, I don’t know if this would work or not. The Mercedes reserve drivers would be more that suitable for the role.

  12. I would rather prefer he raced…

  13. First of all, i hope Perez and any other driver/team member that might be infected get well as soon as possible and no one else got infected.

    Secondly, this just goes to show you that this season is not over till the last race for any of the championship battles. From our recent history with this disease, Perez might have to miss also the next 1-2 rounds as well until he tests back negative. That is a big blow for Racing Point.
    We don’t know how Perez got the virus since the F1 circus now operates ‘in the bubble’, but if it wasn’t Perez it could have easily been any other driver. Imagine, God forbid, a scenario that Hamilton or Bottas are infected and are forced to miss some rounds, the ramifications that it would have in the championship and will we view it as ‘fair’. Imagine if both McLaren drivers get infected somehow and that takes a toll in the team as well and are beaten beacuse of this by their rivals.

    1. It raises the slight prospect that someone could attempt to manipulate the championship by trying to contaminate one or both mercer drivers!

    2. Also it can show how fluid the whole covid thing is, a few people get infected in the paddock, and the season could easily be shut down again.

  14. I really hope to don’t put Gutierrez in that seat, and reach out to Hulkenberg. Stroll and Guti in the pink Merc, that’s just unfair to the fans. We need the best drivers in the best cars.

  15. guest_lurker
    30th July 2020, 23:40

    tinfoil hat mode ON

    Was wondering, maybe this covid quarantine is smoke and mirrors, as Racing Point is preparing to boot Checo, even before season ends and install new driver for the remaining races…
    Imagine Vettel leaving Red Trolleys tomorrow, changing colours from red to pink, then Giovanazzi in place for Vettel and finally Kubica in Alfa for Gio. Or maybe Wehrlein to Ferrari (he is doing simulator chores for them, isn’t he?).

    Would be great to see something like this happening! :)

  16. Just when it was beginning to resemble a normal F1 season as well. It’s beginning to cast doubts on the bubble plan, though it doesn’t help when drivers leave the bubble and fly home between races.

    1. @emu55 Only two drivers did that when they shouldn’t have and those were Bottas and Leclerc both between the Red Bull Ring-events, and the former also between Red Bull Ring 2 and Hungary. Norris also took extra travelling during this race-gap, but that was for medical reasons, so only he had a justifiable and understandable reason to do this type of extra travelling.
      Another user above claims Checo would’ve gone to both Mexico and Italy, but that was between this and the last event with a longer gap than between the previous events, so a bit different.

  17. What about you, Keith? Are you safe? Did your second test come back negative?

    1. Yes hope you’re in the clear at this point @keithcollantine ?

  18. Wishing Perez a speedy and complete recovery, but consider the dilemma for the chosen reserve driver;
    for – It’s a great opportunity to drive a very good car.
    against – It’s a potential opportunity to become Covid-19 positive.

    1. against – It’s a potential opportunity to become Covid-19 positive.

      You think the car is jinxed,, @hohum?
      I doubt you can link it to the tyres this time :P

      1. @coldfly, Was written before I learned Perez had left the “Bubble”, never thought of blaming the tyres, damn, a missed opportunity.

  19. Wow the is a major event.
    Fact is Perez will get better but he will be out of F1 for a while.
    RP may have to get a driver who will perhaps do 3 or 4 races before Perez gets the all clear.
    Considering there is a buzz around his Vettel and his seat…………….

  20. This has the potential to be significant for Racing Point.

    If Checo has tested positive and been around the rest of his team over the last few days, then there’s a decent chance that mechanics, engineers or management could also be infected.. and have to sit on the sidelines.

    1. The team members in his ‘bubble’ will have to self-isolate as well. That’s how bubbles work.

      1. I missed it first time, but the article does say “…and all close contacts have been quarantined.” Hopefully this is will prevent the spread of the disease within the team.

  21. Hulk is a foot taller than Perez, and isn’t a Mercedes reserve driver, so I can’t see him stepping in. It’ll be Gutierrez as that will appease Mercedes, the hoardes of Mexican sponsors on the car, and will allow Vandoorne to focus on FormulaE

    1. Hulk is roughly the same length as Stroll.

      1. Hulk isn’t a Mercedes reserve driver so he won’t be asked for Mercedes teams.

    2. Without checking, I have a hard time imagining perez to be around 1,54 m, that’s not a men’s height, unless he’s a dwarf!

  22. I would definitely put Russell in the RP and let Gutierrez Drive the Williams (will finish last anyway). That would be good for Toto to see how well can “the future of Mercedes” drive in a competitive car for a couple of races.

    1. If true, Sergio really needs to pick one thing:

      Drive in F1.
      Live the F1 ‘supastar’ lifestyle outside of F1.

      There are far tougher things than staying in your bubble. If he’s infected team members it could have dire consequences for RP this season. Maybe he’s angling for a Renault drive next year…

  23. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st July 2020, 3:42

    Too many points involved – Hulkenberg is the obvious choice. This could cost Racing Point a position in the championship.

  24. I wish a speedy recovery to Perez. But there is a reason why the bubble is in place. So much effort has been done in coming up with races at such difficult time.

  25. I will confidently say this, it’s only a matter of when, not if, most if not all people will get this virus. I am a medic in a hospital that treats COVID.19 patients nd seen how rapid and fluid this pandemic is. I feel gutted for Perez, but it’s an inevitability that was bound to happen, and more will follow, because once it has infected even one person, more often than not, it spreads to everyone within that environment quite fast. Unless there’s a vaccine developed very fast, this will be the reality. Will F1 shut down if more personnel get it? Only time will tell.

    1. A vaccine won’t prevent people getting it so theres no need for the 99.9% of people that will only get none to mild symptoms to even have it!

    2. I am a medic in a hospital that treats COVID.19 patients

      That doesn’t automatically make you an expert. For all we know you are a student in the labour ward.

    3. Come to Perth Western Australia. we have zero community transmittion for over 100 days! im not planning on getting Covid-19 ever. I have no intention to travel until there is a vaccine, and our left wing leader has done the right thing and closed the borders long ago.

  26. I see Racing Point breathing a sign of relief, gives them a couple weeks to work out how to dump Perez, might even use public and F1 safety as a reason.

    1. Or, if contractually they have to do it before the end of the month, the perfect excuse to do it now.

  27. Will he miss both races? How long do they quarantine for, is it 10 days?

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