Racing Point has confirmed that Sergio Perez’ mandatory period of quarantine following a positive test for coronavirus has now been completed.
Perez was ruled out of last weekend’s British Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19 on the Wednesday before the race, after a follow-up second test confirmed the result the following day. He was replaced for the weekend by Nico Hulkenberg.
Under the UK’s coronavirus regulations, the positive test meant that Perez was required to self-isolate for the next seven days.
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However the rules changed during the period that Perez was being retested, with the UK upping the time required to be spent in quarantine to ten days – which would meant Perez would also have had to sit out this weekend’s second race at Silverstone.
But in a press release issued on Thursday afternoon, the team confirmed that it had consulted with the relevant health authorities and clarified that Perez’ period of self-isolation was indeed officially over.
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“Public Health England have confirmed that Sergio Perez’s period of quarantine has been completed,” the team statement announced.
However the ending of his self-isolation period doesn’t mean that Perez will automatically be back in the cockpit this weekend alongside team mate Lance Stroll for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
“In line with the FIA Code Of Conduct, Sergio requires a verified negative test result for COVID-19 before he can enter the paddock,” the team explained.
“The testing process is taking place today,” it added. “The team expects to make a decision on who is driving alongside Lance later today or first thing tomorrow morning.”
It’s understood that Perez was asymptomatic during the period and had suffered no ill effects from the coronavirus.
However the team will want to make sure he’s full race-fit before confirming that he will return to work and standing down Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg – who raced with Renault until the end of 2019 – had been set for a surprise return to F1 last week but was ultimately thwarted when the RP20 refused to fire up before the race.
The team later found that the issue was down to a clutch bolt failure.
Perez himself is under pressure to deliver this season amid reports that Sebastian Vettel has already signed a deal with Racing Point for next season, with Perez set to be dropped.
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