Silverstone, 2020

Perez was only positive Covid-19 test in F1 paddock last week

2020 British Grand Prix

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The FIA and Formula 1 have confirmed no other F1 personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week, aside from Sergio Perez.

The Racing Point driver has been forced to miss this weekend’s race as he is self-isolating following a positive Covid-19 test yesterday.

“The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 24th July and Thursday 30th July, 3,909 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams and personnel,” said the organisations in their regular joint statement. “Of these one person, as previously announced, has tested positive.”

Five other Racing Point staff are isolating after coming into contact with Perez, the team’s CEO Otmar Szafnauer confirmed today. They are three simulator workers plus Perez’s personal assistant and his physiotherapist.

Since F1 began holding its Closed Events during the pandemic, it has conducted 17,504 Covid-19 tests. Perez’s was the third positive case.

The other two positive test results were returned during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said those two cases occured “effectively outside of the paddock”.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Perez’s positive test was “a stark reminder that these procedures are here for a reason” and praised how the FIA handled the case.

“The procedures we take as a team, the procedures we take as a collective in Formula 1, we do everything we can to ensure that as little unnecessary contact is made either at the race event, away from the race event, within the factory,” he said. “It’s very, very difficult and it’s a stark reminder that this thing hasn’t gone away yet. It’s still out there.

“We are going to be travelling to countries where obviously there are second waves and peaks that are still bubbling away. And that’s where as a group, as Formula 1, we do need to keep that discipline with the procedures that are in place. I think that the whole thing was handled well and executed well by the FIA and by the team.”

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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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5 comments on “Perez was only positive Covid-19 test in F1 paddock last week”

  1. And that’s where as a group, as Formula 1, we do need to keep that discipline with the procedures that are in place.

    As much as I sympathise with Sergio wanting to go and see his mother after she’d had an accident, the fact is it broke the disciplined approach required to beat the virus. F1 is a billion dollar industry and that could easily be ruined by not following orders. Now 5 other people are in quarantine because of Sergio’s extra-bubble excursion, and 5 is small fry stuff, it could easily have been more people. There have been cases in the media where tens of people were infected by one person. Hopefully those 5 people will be paid for their time away from the team.
    Unfortunately we had Charles and Valtteri going on excursions as well (Valtteri went twice), which set a bad example. They should have been sent straight into quarantine for two weeks but weren’t. The rule should be that if you leave the bubble then you do two weeks quarantine before you rejoin the team, and that needs to apply to everyone.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      31st July 2020, 20:45

      Bottas remained in his bubble apparently though and only met with those he’d just been with recently. Leclerc actually went to a party with friends. Quite some difference. Perez’s situation was closer to that of Leclerc’s.

    2. @drycrust Same here. While I can also sympathize with people wanting to go and see their family, I don’t think even doing this is worth it under just any circumstances. Mexico is, after all, third overall in the world in death figures, and sixth overall in infection figures, so, not the wisest move ever to travel there under these circumstances.

      1. Mexico is, after all, third overall in the world in death figures, and sixth overall in infection figures

        Britain doesn’t rank terribly well on the per capita indices though – the last I saw it was second-highest for deaths – so you could make the same argument about going to Silverstone. It was behind Belgium, so ditto Spa.

        1. That’s a surprising argument to make when the track confines are closed to all but select personnel and subject to repeated testing, unlike the general public in the UK, or most other countries, in fact.

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