Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer took on for Sergio Pérez, who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Thursday. The Mexican driver was criticized for his trip to his native country this week.
“I don’t think Sergio did anything wrong by visiting his family in Mexico,” said Szafnauer on Friday after the first two free practice sessions for the Great Britain Grand Prix, which Pérez should of course miss.
“He has thought of all the precautions and there is no clause in his contract that he must ask permission to visit his family. Since Sergio has been driving for us, he has been going to Mexico more often. I think this is comparable to Ferrari that returns to Italy. ”
The journey from Pérez to Mexico was controversial, as the situation in the South American country is worrying. The number of corona infections is increasing daily by the thousands, and worldwide more people in the United States and Brazil alone die from the effects of the virus than in Mexico.
“He couldn’t believe his positive test”
Pérez, 30, said in a video on Friday that he flew to his native country because his mother had a major accident. He traveled in a private plane and was not on a commercial flight, precisely to avoid any contamination.
According to Szafnauer, Pérez was surprised when he was told that he has the COVID-19 virus among its members. “He has no symptoms and feels fine, so he couldn’t believe it. Sergio also took enough precautions. We will examine him daily and hopefully he can race again as soon as possible.”
Pérez, who had a total of 22 points in the first four Grands Prix of the season, is the first driver in this still early Formula 1 season to test positive. He will be replaced this weekend in Silverstone by Nico Hülkenberg.
The German was already in the Racing Point car on Friday during the first two free practice sessions. The Grand Prix of Great Britain will be continued on Saturday with the third practice (12:00 PM) and qualifying (3:00 PM).