F1 British GP: Perez awaiting COVID-19 retest after inconclusive result – F1
Racing Point Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez is currently awaiting a COVID-19 retest following an inconclusive result ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Perez was due to be present for the FIA press conference on Thursday afternoon at Silverstone, but the team was only represented by Lance Stroll.
It was confirmed by the press conference MC that Perez was absent as a result of an “inconclusive” test result for COVID-19, and that he was self-isolating while awaiting the result of a second test.
A spokesman for Racing Point revealed that a small number of team members are also self-isolating after being in contact with Perez.
“Checo is not at the circuit today following an inconclusive test result,” he confirmed.
“He is self-isolating awaiting the results of a retest.
“Checo came into contact with a small group of team members.
“They are self-isolating and being retested.”
All paddock personnel are required to undergo a test for COVID-19 at least every five days, as set out by the FIA in its protocols for the grands prix this season.
Racing Point would be due to call on one of Mercedes’ reserve drivers for the race weekend should Perez test positive for COVID-19, as part of an agreement with the team.
It is likely that Esteban Gutierrez would be set to make his first F1 start since his last appearance for Haas at the end of the 2016 season if Perez was ruled out.
Gutierrez shares the Mercedes reserve role with ex-McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who has more recent grand prix experience, making his most recent start at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But Vandoorne is not set to be on-site at Silverstone this weekend as he prepares for the final six races of the Formula E season in Berlin, taking place across a nine-day period that starts next Wednesday.
A second test for Perez is part of the FIA’s protocols when screening all paddock personnel for COVID-19, but is the first time it has been made public that a driver has been required to conduct a re-test.
F1 has reported the results of more than 15,000 COVID-19 tests so far, with only two being confirmed as positive.
Both of these were recorded in Hungary two weeks ago, and neither individual had been in Austria at the opening two rounds.