Perez felt fit enough to return earlier – Szafnauer

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez felt he could have returned to Formula 1 earlier than he did, according to Racing Point’s CEO Otmar Szafnauer.

Nico Hulkenberg stood in for the Racing Point driver in both races at Silverstone after Perez returned multiple positive tests for Covid-19.

However Perez’s symptoms were mild enough for him to train regularly while in quarantine. Szafnauer was he “wasn’t really surprised” his driver was able to return to the cockpit at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“He felt well in himself for the almost the entire time,” said Szafnauer. “I think he had a headache one day.

“He couldn’t understand why he wasn’t in the race car last race, for example, because he was even exercising in his apartment while he was quarantining. So he was keeping fit, felt great.

“I don’t want to call it ‘asymptomatic’, but it was pretty close, because he only had the headache symptoms for one day. I don’t know, if he didn’t have the virus, would he have had the headache that day anyway? I don’t know.”

After testing negative for Covid-19 Perez made a successful return to action in Spain. He qualified fourth and took the chequered flag in the same position, though a five-second penalty dropped him back to fifth.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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15 comments on “Perez felt fit enough to return earlier – Szafnauer”

  1. It’s not about your fitness, Sergio. It’s about people being safe.

    1. Exactly @aapje. Just imagine it would have “jumped” to the rest of the team. And then to another chef, the people doing the catering, to their collegues and family etc.

      I am glad Perez did not get seriously ill, and I hope he does not suffer any of those after affects one can read about. His generally good health and fitness surely helped cope with the virus and recover quickly. But surely both he and Szafnauer understand that he was not allowed to race because he might be infecting others, not to keep Perez safe or in good health.

    2. i wouldn’t treat something Szafnauer said as gospel: for all we know, all Perez said to him was ‘i feel fine’ and Szafnauer is going on and on about how he should’ve been allowed to race.

  2. Probably just a bizzare choice of word. I’m sure Perez understood just fine why he couldn’t race

  3. Your PR people arent happy now, Otmar.

  4. I wonder how Perez is able to understand the complexity of his car, if he doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t be in the paddock while carrying the SARS-CoV-2 in his body.

  5. It is shocking to hear these remarks from the Team manager.. I hope Sergio’s words and thoughts are not the same. Feeling fit and fine does not means you are safe to return. Try and understand its not about you and yourself. Its about the people around you and the wider community, Otmar. But i guess this understanding is beyond you.

  6. Other drivers have driven in the past with a sniffle so I can sympathize. Nobody batted an eyelid if a driver had the flu in the paddock so it really shouldn’t have been any different with convid84…..

  7. Pretty much summarises why things are the way they are with COVID-19.

    Supposedly intelligent people thinking that you should be free to do as you want just because you don’t “feel sick” when you’ve been tested positive or continuing to work while they are awaiting test results.

  8. Facepalm…

    Just wow, really wow.

  9. I guess they think that viral transmission is something to do with gearboxes….

  10. I have a hard time believing this is a real statement, no driver nor team boss can be that stupid.

  11. It could have lept on his breath and no one would have known until it was tragically too late.

  12. Er, if I drove into France, stayed in my car the entire time and came back to the UK, I have to quarantine for 14 days.

    I have no words for this statement. Well I do, but Keith would not be pleased. SMH.

Comments are closed.