SILVERSTONE: Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer said on Friday that he had no issue with Sergio Perez’s (pix) decision to return to Mexico, but would analyse his itinerary to discover how he contracted the coronavirus.
Speaking at the British Grand Prix, Szafnauer suggested Perez’s trip home was “no different” than Ferrari returning to Italy following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I don’t think ‘Checo’ did anything wrong going back to his family,” said Szafnauer.
“He takes all the precautions – I think it’s no different than, you know, Ferrari going back to Italy, for example.”
His comments were sure to intensify debate after many observers asked if it was advisable for a racing driver to fly to Mexico, where about 7,000 cases of the virus are reportedly diagnosed each day.
Perez is the first driver to test positive in four races this year and will miss this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
He has been replaced by experienced German driver Nico Hulkenberg.
“He’s asymptomatic,” added Szafnauer. “He was surprised that he tested positive. He couldn’t believe it. He said ‘there’s no way – I’ve no symptoms, I feel completely fine’.
“He travelled privately so he thought he took ample precautions. He didn’t get on a commercial flight in between races. So he was surprised.
“But he’s OK. We’re going to check on him daily – send the doctor to him – and he’s quarantining now. We just have to make sure that this virus gets out of his system and he comes back racing.” – AFP