Perez caught Covid-19 after returning from Mexico, says team boss

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez’s trip to Mexico was not the source of his Covid-19 infection, according to his team’s CEO Otmar Szafnauer.

The Racing Point driver missed the British and 70th Anniversary grands prix over the last two weekends after testing positive for the virus. Perez had returned home to Mexico, which has seen a high number of Covid-19 cases, in the two-week break between the Hungarian Grand Prix and the two races at Silverstone.

Racing Point previously said they would investigate the source of Perez’s infection. Speaking to Sky, Szafnauer said their information led them to conclude he did not catch Covid-19 during his stay in Mexico.

“We think he got it from one of the private chefs that he hired,” said Szafnauer. “That, quite frankly, could happen to any one one of us.

“He took every precaution, he flew privately, he stayed with his parents, he didn’t go out to eat. And then when he got to Europe he hired a private chef so he wouldn’t go to restaurants and we think he got it from the chef.”

Perez was the first F1 driver to test positive for Covid-19. He returned a negative test ahead of this weekend’s race and has returned to the paddock.

“I was extremely lucky not to have any big symptoms other than a little bit of headache,” he said yesterday.

“One or two days I felt very tired, but at the same time you feel like that while you spend so much of your time on your own.”

Perez spent his isolation period in an apartment in Milton Keynes. “I couldn’t leave the room so I was basically on lockdown for 10 days,” he said.

“I was training in the apartment that I was and I was trying to to keep fit. There was a chance that I could have raced in the second Silverstone race if I tested negative. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Now, finally, I’m free to race again.”

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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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12 comments on “Perez caught Covid-19 after returning from Mexico, says team boss”

  1. he didn’t go out to eat

    Wasn’t there a picture of him with some fans at some restaurant floating around when we found out he tested positive? Think I remember it was on his wife’s Insta account or something before being deleted.

  2. So, I take that to mean that the bubble rules are somewhat lacking then. Surely they should have tested the chef BEFORE trusting him to get close and into that bubble, right. I guess now they do?

  3. 10 days in Milton Keynes. He must have done something really bad to deserve that!

  4. Sergio Perez’s trip to Mexico was not the source of his Covid-19 infection

    That doesn’t make that trip any less stupid.
    You won’t get infected every time you don’t heed the advice; but it was still your selfish decision to do whatever you thought more important than protecing the people you share a bubble with (and their families).

    The more the come up with excuses and explanation, the more I dislike what Perez and his team did (same for Leclerc & Bottas).

    1. Good point @coldfly. The thing with the chef being the probable source just goes to show how relatively minor lapses can make things go wrong with this virus.

      So risking extra by going on holiday with that chef, going to mexico across the world, jetting to Monaco and meet up friends (Leclerc), or even things like jetting back and forth for your girlfriends birthday (Bottas) even if you don’t mingle with people, or sharing a jet and sitting right next ot another F1 driver in the jet (Max and Daniel), or going to talk with your old mentor/team boss without a mask (Vettel) all make it a (slightly) higher chance of something going wrong.

    2. LoL. No. If going to Mexico was stupid then also going to UK. Both places have horrible number of death by covid.

      1. ..or going to Spain nowadays..? :)

  5. Hmm, just how many ‘vendors’ are going in/out of the venues 24/7, how are they being tested at the gates?

  6. Well, the public policy in Mexico is to test you AFTER YOU SHOW SYMPTOMS and basically SOCIAL DISTANCING is merely a slogan. Great controversy here in Mexico is to have a real number of accumulated cases and active cases. Asymptomatic cases aren’t counted but yet are a source of infection to a lesser degree. As result of this, the % of deaths is greater compared to other countries. So, if you die of Covid but you weren’t properly tested, the cause of death may be marked and atypical pneumonia. The above is what makes travel risky to countries with poor policies / public health infrastructure, it’s like walking in quicksand, there’s no bubble able to contain such handicaps.

  7. Maybe from his holiday trip to Italy after he went to Mexico. His wife posted photos on Instagram – which have since been deleted – of the pair on holiday in Italy between the races in Hungary and Britain according to ESPN.

  8. Is Perez now exempt from further testing and mask rules?

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