Perez ‘followed all protocols’ in return to Mexico before positive Covid-19 test

2020 British Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez says he complied with all protocols to minimise his exposure to Covid-19, prior to testing positive for the virus.

The Racing Point driver has been ruled out of this weekend’s British Grand Prix after the positive test was disclosed yesterday. Perez had previously returned an inconclusive test result which led him to be absent from the track on Thursday.

Perez told his followers on social media he is “extremely sad” about the situation. “It’s definitely one of the saddest days of my career.

“The amount of preparation that we put into this weekend to be 100% ready for it, I knew I had a great car underneath me, that the team has done a fantastic job. I’m really sad that this happens.”

He confirmed he had returned to Mexico between the Hungarian and British grands prix, but insisted he complied with all relevant restrictions.

“This just shows how vulnerable we are all to this virus,” he said. “I followed all the instructions from the FIA, from my team after Hungary to go to Mexico to see my mum for two days because she had a big accident. So as soon as she left hospital I was able to see here.

“Then I came back to Europe the same way, all the protocols in place. I just got it, I don’t know from where. I have no symptoms at all.”

Many of Perez’s rivals have sent messages of support to him since the news of his positive test broke yesterday. “I want to thank all my fellow drivers for all the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, the fans,” he said.

“It’s certainly a tough moment for me at the moment but I’m sure I will come back stronger than this.”

Racing Point are expected to confirm Perez’s place will be taken by his former team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who has been seen in the Silverstone paddock this morning accompanied by Racing Point staff.

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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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37 comments on “Perez ‘followed all protocols’ in return to Mexico before positive Covid-19 test”

  1. What a big shame. As soon as he gets a decent car to compete with. I wonder if he will be also not competing for the next two races.

  2. Of course he will say that. Anyone found any links to the deleted photos? I’m guessing they were deleted because they show something contradictory to his statement… If not, I apologise!

  3. Except for the ‘common-sense protocol’ to not travel back and forth between Mexico and Europe.
    Mexico is still on the EU list (not sure which list the UK uses) of countries unsafe to travel to for non-essential travel.

    And as much as I want Checo to see his mother who just left hospital (!), he should have thought of the millions of people who could not see and touch their loved ones at all during the lock-down and travel restrictions. Even in this case I find it disappointingly selfish from him to focus on personal needs above collectively fighting the pandemic.

    1. well said

    2. @coldfly I agree with you. My initial thought was ‘fair enough’ about the reasoning for his trip out of Europe, but after seeing your post I took that back to an extent.

    3. Yes, I agree completely.

      There are plenty of people who couldn’t even comfort their dying relatives so Perez playing the emotional card to justify his trip is completely cynical IMHO.

      Could be a career defining action; I’m reminded of Bertrand Gachot, although his circumstances differed.

    4. Yeah, as a person one can fully understand why he would want to go and see his mother. But this just proves how it really is better to take the cautious way and stay put not to risk anything @coldfly.

    5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      31st July 2020, 10:55

      Get a grip. It’s the man’s Mother. Everyone’s such an authoritarian these days. Believe it or not we are still supposed to live in a free society and not everyone lives in fear.

      It happened, he misses the race, the world keeps spinning.

      1. I respectfully disagree, @rdotquestionmark.
        I have not seen my mother (live) since March. Not that I don’t want to, but because I understand the risks involved.
        What if Checo infected an engineer in his team who then infects her/his elderly family member who does not make it. It’s a realistic scenario, and has nothing to do with (unwaranted) fear, but just common-sense IMO.

        PS he’ll miss at least 2 races (and maybe the whole next season).

        1. @coldfly

          PS he’ll miss at least 2 races (and maybe the whole next season).

          It took a top athlete like Dybala 2 months just to recover from Coronavirus, he had four positive results in six weeks. Here we are talking about recovery let alone returning to top form.

        2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          31st July 2020, 12:23

          @coldfly Very sorry to hear of your situation with your Mother. I think this situation is very difficult for the majority of people. I respect those who take all precautions but I also think people who understand the risks and make an informed decision to see their loved ones also have the right to do so. Checo put the time with his Mother above all those risks and I’m sure he’d do the same again.

          1. Thank you, @rdotquestionmark.
            I don’t mind that “Checo (decided to) put the time with his Mother above all those risks”; he’s a grown-up free man. But that decision has consequences like not participating in a tightly controlled bubble event like F1.

          2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            31st July 2020, 16:17

            @coldfly Yes understandable and I suppose they are in a very privileged role model position. It’s been an incredibly frustrating year and it’s hard to keep a lid on sanity sometimes. Apologies for being insensitive it’s important to remember there’s a human being on the end of these messages sometimes. Especially with internet anonymity. Hope everything works out for you and you can see your mother safely soon.

    6. And as much as I want Checo to see his mother who just left hospital (!), he should have thought of the millions of people who could not see and touch their loved ones at all during the lock-down and travel restrictions

      +1, COTD.

  4. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    31st July 2020, 10:25

    As someone else posted on the other page, this doesn’t quite look to add up to what perez is claiming he followed here:

    “Some photographs were apparently posted to Carola Martinez (Sergio’s wife)‘s Instagram account showing the couple in Porto Cervo, Italy on July 24th. Further, he was seen greeting and taking photos with fans at a restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 21st.

    Soon after her husband’s testing positive for the coronavirus, Martinez deleted the two photographs from social media. ”

    Clearly, in a rush to delete things that show you have done something that is not advisable….

    A bit harder to sympathise that he’s missing out now.

  5. How does visiting someone who’s just come out of hospital in a high risk country fit with the F1 protocols?

  6. I simply don’t understand how unnecessary travel can possibly be considered taking all precautions.

    Interact with as few people as possible, that’s the way.

  7. He confirmed he had returned to Mexico between the Hungarian and British grands prix, but insisted he complied with all relevant restrictions.

    All the evidence points to him getting infected between leaving his F1 bubble and returning to it. I just can’t understand what is so difficult to comprehend about this: when you leave your F1 bubble you risk not just getting infected, but you also risk infecting the entire racing series! It isn’t just Sergio that has to isolate himself, everyone in his bubble also has to sit out Quarantine time, and not only them, but also those he came into contact with, they have to sit out Quarantine time too. Then there’s the people he forgot he came into contact with, and also the people that somehow came into contact with some residual virus he left behind somewhere. Basically everywhere he went has to be cleansed, and everyone who he might have come into contact with or went where he went has to be tested. There’s the potential that most of the 1000+ people at the British Grand prix will need to undergo extra testing than would otherwise have been the case. Saying “It couldn’t have been me” sounds far more credible coming from some who was 100% within the bubble than from someone who wasn’t.

  8. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    31st July 2020, 10:51

    Firstly, i want to wish Checo a speedy recovery as health is the most important thing in the new Covid19 reality.
    I think we saw from the first week that keeping drivers away from families/habits isn’t gonna work out, as many did travel back to Monaco and Switzerland between the Austrian and Styrian races. In Checo’s case, it’s rumored he went for a short vacation in Italy as well, so he did his fair share of traveling.

  9. “This just shows how vulnerable we are all to this virus”

    Well, wasn’t that known already? they didn’t force everyone to stay in their own bubble and avoid all unnecesary travel for nothing.

    I still think drivers needs to be much more careful. You can follow every protocol and still catch it… you don’t know if everyone around you is following those strict protocols too…

    In hindsight, maybe LeClerc’s one day trip to Monaco (and Bottas’ to Finland) should’ve been punished in some way… Specially because it could mean a whole team or more could be forbidden from racing if things go very wrong… can they afford that?

  10. This just shows how vulnerable we are all to this virus

    This is just shows how reckless some people are to say the least (Bottas & Leclerc included). The virus has been known to be extremely contagious and uncontrollable that’s why restrictions has been put in place. Checo’s attitude of “I’ve done nothing wrong by visiting my mum” trying to put the blame on the virus isn’t coherent with his visit to Porto Cervo.
    I just hope for a speedy recovery for him. However, he must accept the blame and deal with his decision that can have severe consequences on his career.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      31st July 2020, 12:27

      With all respect, some people just don’t live in fear. And people who race at 200mph are probably exactly the sort of people to not live in fear. Life has to go on, people still need to get out of the bubble and breathe. Half the population are so scared of dying they’ve stopped living, and the other half who aren’t living in fear are ready to explode at all the authoritarians whose fear seems to be trumping freedom.

      1. I’m sorry this has nothing to do with fear. I fasten my seat belt, wear a helmet when skiing and take other safety measures not because I live in fear, but because these are basic common sense things to do to reduce risk. Likewise the virus situation necessitates people to take common sense measures, but here it is far more important because a reckless person who does not live in fear can potentially cause a great many others to die, even if he is without symptoms.
        And no, taking common sense measures does not mean people stopped living. We are just living a different life now.

      2. @rdotquestionmark what a load of BS.

        You can do whatever you want with your life. Want to risk it and catch COVID? fine by me… but if you’re willing to go out, recklessly putting OTHERS at risk too, then that’s where you draw the line…

        1. @fer-no65
          It does make sense though, he’s using the verb “to trump” :)

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            31st July 2020, 15:41


        2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          31st July 2020, 15:40

          I wouldn’t risk other people’s lives other than those that consent to meet up and do things with me. Such as Checo. Those that want to hide in their bedrooms can, those that want to live albeit with risk, should be able too.

      3. @rdotquestionmark

        Even people doing 200 mph do feel the fear maybe less than others but they definitely feel it. Fear is also relative, they maybe are not afraid driving an F1 beast but maybe they are afraid doing something else that the rest of us don’t fear.

        COVID-19 situation has nothing to do with fear. As mentioned by @zbs13 and @fer-no65 , it’s about common sense, if you want to play Die Hard 6 or Mission Impossible 10 or whatever you want you can do it alone and that’s fine. However, behaving recklessly with regard to the coronavirus can cause great harm for innocent people.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          31st July 2020, 15:38

          Don’t forget we are talking about a fairly mild flu here with some unfortunate side effects on the elderly and obese. Fit healthy people should be living. Not muzzled with a piece of cloth and told who they can see, what hobbies they can pursue. This has impacted a fraction of the population

          1. JR Love (@dermechaniker)
            31st July 2020, 16:07

            This “mild flu” is about 1250 deaths away from overtaking the #4 cause of death — respiratory disease — in the United States.

            By November It is predicted to overtake the #3 cause of death— accidents — by an amount over 45,000

            Where it goes from there is a current unknown.

            While I completely respect your right to your opinion and your right to voice it, I must respectfully disagree with your right to spread disinformation about the severity of this disease.

            It is precisely this kind of disinformation that has lead to the astronomical death toll — by this “mild flu” — in my country.

            Please, take this disease more seriously.

          2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            31st July 2020, 21:10

            It’s a tiny fraction of the population. Not worth worrying about. Especially if under 60 @dermechaniker

  11. Mike Bagetti
    31st July 2020, 11:21

    He has no symptoms.

    The corona virus is almost ten times less deadly to those under 45 than the flu.

    Why are we quarantining the under 45s? We should be devoting our resources to those who are actually at risk.

    1. Because otherwise they would infect other people who would in turn infect even more people and some of those would be older and would die. I can’t believe this needs an explanation several months into the crisis.

      1. It’s unfortunately a waste of time to explain even the basics to somebody who believes COVID-19 is “ ten times less deadly to those under 45 than the flu.”

        With COVID-19 mortality rate of diagnosed people to be from 0.3% (<30yo) to 1.1% for (40-49yo) you don’t have to be a genius to know that this is much less than for your common flu. Of course unless if you live in a country where 1 in 10 40-49yo die from the flu.

  12. Apart from the photo’s his wife removed from social media showing Perez with other people?

  13. mother has just been in hospital and soon after, son visits her. In Mexico. I understand and comprehend, but much probably here’s your answer to how he got it

  14. He’s visiting his mum who’s had an accident and is in hospital – surely that’s kind of a legit reason and less ‘reckless’ than other F1 drivers who attended parties. Speculation of him visiting restaurants and stuff are just that, speculation, which is unverified, and the pictures online are not verified. Also, you can’t judge his actions based the result – getting COVID or not depends on chance too, you’re not going to say that Boris Johnson was reckless and irresponsible just because he contracted COVID. Lastly, I’d say losing the chance to race for 2 weekends is harsh enough a consequence, so instead of call for harsher penalties we should be more sympathetic.

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