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Perez First F1 Driver to Test Positive for Virus

Perez First F1 Driver to Test Positive for Virus

Friday, 31 July, 2020 - 06:45
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - March 12, 2020 Racing Point's Sergio Perez poses for a drivers portrait REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat

Sergio Perez on Thursday became the first Formula One driver since the start of the season to test positive for coronavirus and was ruled out of this weekend's British Grand Prix.

Organizers, however, insisted that Sunday's race will still go ahead as the incident "will have no wider impact on the event".

"Following the announcement that Sergio has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Silverstone Circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix, the team regrets to announce that he will be unable to participate in this weekend's race," said Perez's Racing Point team in a statement.

The 30-year-old Mexican is the first driver to test positive for the virus since the world championship made its delayed start in Austria earlier in July under strict health protocols.

"Sergio is physically well and in good spirits, but he will continue to self-isolate under the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for the team and the sport," added his team.

It is possible that Britain's quarantine rules mean Perez will miss the fifth round of the championship, also at Silverstone, next weekend.

Perez will likely be replaced by either fellow-Mexican Esteban Gutierrez or Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne for Sunday's race, the fourth round of this season's truncated calendar.

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