Sergio Perez will not compete in the upcoming British Grand Prix, scheduled on August 2, after testing positive for COVID-19 symptoms.
Perez, a native from Guadalajara, Mexico, who currently races for the BWT Racing Point F1 team and is ranked sixth in the standings following the first three Formula One races of 2020, was confirmed to have tested positive for the virus after isolating from the circuit earlier on Thursday following an inconclusive test.
This marks the first time where a Formula One driver has tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, a disease that delayed the start of this year’s F1 season from March to July and has postponed or cancelled multiple events scheduled for this season.
A statement was issued by Formula One and the FIA following Perez’s test.
“Perez has entered self-quarantine in accordance with the instructions of the relevant public health authorities, and will continue to follow the procedure mandated by those authorities. With assistance of the local organiser of the British Grand Prix, local health authorities and the FIA COVID-19 delegate, a full track and trace initiative has been undertaken and all close contacts have been quarantined.”
Like many professional sports, Formula One is utilizing a strict COVID-19 testing regime towards the competitors and traveling team members prior to an event as part of the safety protocols put in place when the F1 season proceeded.
Racing Point noted that Perez is in “good spirits and is physically well” and that a group of team members that were in contact with Perez were self-isolating and being re-tested as a precaution. The team intends to run two cars for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit and the team will announce its full driver lineup for the event in the coming days.