Formula one team Racing Points’ driver Sergio Perez was expected to be present for the FIA press conference on Thursday afternoon at Silverstone. However, Lance Stroll was the only driver to be present at the event representing the team. It was announced by the press conference MC that Perez was absent from the press conference as a result of an “inconclusive” test result for COVID-19.
But after re-testing was completed, it was confirmed that the driver has registered positive for the coronavirus. “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,” read a statement issued by Formula 1 and the FIA.
“With assistance of the local organizer 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. The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 have provided for swift containment of an incident that will have no wider impact on this weekend’s event.”
According to the new norms set up by the FIA for racing after the COVID-19 pandemic, all paddock personnel is required to undergo a test for COVID-19 at least every five days.
What happens now?
It is still expected that Racing Point would like to two have two drivers compete at the weekend’s race. In such a situation Racing Point would need to call-up one of Mercedes’ reserve drivers for the race weekend as part of an agreement with the team.
It looks likely that Esteban Gutierrez would be set to make his first F1 start since his last appearance for Haas at the end of 2016. Gutierrez shares the Mercedes reserve role with ex-McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne. Vandoorne made his last appearance in an F1 car back in 2018 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However, Vandoorne would not be present at the Silverstone this weekend as he prepares for the final six races of the Formula E season in Berlin.
Formula 1 is following a strict testing procedure as a part of the safety protocol put in place before the season started earlier this month. This is the first time a driver has been tested positive for the COVID-19 test.
Before this FIA has conducted more than 15,000 COVID-19 tests, out of which only 2 tests have come out to be positive. Both these tests were found in the third race in Hungary. However, neither of them were present in Austria for the opening two races.
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