Racing Point Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez has revealed he returned to Mexico for two days after the Hungarian Grand Prix to visit his mother, who had been recovering in hospital following “a big accident”.

Perez was the first F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has subsequently been ruled out of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, as well as the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone next week. He is set to be replaced at Racing Point by ex-Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.

The Mexican insisted he followed all of F1’s protocols during the trip back to his home country and flew back on a private plane.

Perez, who is now undergoing a period of self-isolation, stressed he has had no symptoms of coronavirus but said missing the British Grand Prix was “one of the saddest days” of his career.

“As you know I tested positive for COVID-19,” Perez said in a video posted on social media.

“I’m extremely sad, definitely one of the saddest days in my career. The amount of preparation we put into this weekend, to be one hundred percent ready for it.

“I knew I had a great car underneath me, the team has done a fantastic job. I’m really sad that this has happened but it just shows how vulnerable we all are to this virus.

“I followed all the instructions from the FIA and from my team after Hungary, I took a private plane to go to Mexico to see my mother for two days because she had a big accident. So as soon as she left hospital I was able to see her.

“And then I came back to Europe the same way, with all the protocols in place. I just got it from I don’t know where. I have no symptoms at all so it just shows how vulnerable we all are to this.

“I want to thank all my fellow drivers for the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, the fans,” he added.

“Certainly these are tough moments for me at the moment but I am sure I will come back stronger from this.”

 

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