Racing Point has no issues with Perez’s Mexican trip

Racing Point Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer says that the Silverstone team has no issue with Sergio Perez's trip to Mexico between the Hungarian and British GPs.

Racing Point has no issues with Perez’s Mexican trip

After testing positive for COVID-19, Perez confirmed that he returned to his home country last week, in part because he wanted to see his mother, who had an accident recently.

In the light of the controversy over Charles Leclerc's return to Monaco between the two Austrian races – which earned the Ferrari driver a warning from the FIA – Perez's decision to go home has been called into question, with the obvious implication that the trip compromised his health situation.

"We've got no clauses in the contract where he's got to ask permission to go back to his family," said Szafnauer.

"I think his family was in Mexico, and it's not a surprise that he went back to Mexico, that's what he's done forever while he's been driving for us.

"We did though discuss how he was flying there and back, and it was always by a private flight, never commercially. There's no issue with that.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There are many people that are in hotspots all around the world.

"We have a big contingent of our factory who live in Northampton, and you know Northampton was shut down as well. So our philosophy is we take all the precautions necessary in light of where we are travelling.

"And if we do take those precautions, I'm confident that we won't get the virus. We just need to now forensically look back and try to ascertain how Checo became infected, and make sure that we cover that off in the future."

Szafnauer stressed the FIA's COVID-19 code of conduct doesn't prevent drivers from travelling when there are gaps between runs of back-to-back races.

"The code, as it's written now, in between the Austrian races and in Hungary we shouldn't have left and gone outside, which our drivers didn't do," said Szafnauer.

"Neither did our team personnel. For example, we had a rule that once we were in Hungary nobody could leave the hotel even if you had a Schengen passport. We treated everybody the same, including the drivers.

"But in between Hungary [and Silverstone], because we had that weekend off, I think everybody went to wherever their families were. I think the Italian teams went back to Italy.

"Probably the Swiss team went back to Switzerland, Pirelli flew everyone back to Italy, and the drivers went to their home countries.

"Like I said, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Perhaps we should look at that, change the code and say throughout the season, you stay within your bubble? I don't know, but that's something for the FIA to consider. I read through the code a couple of times now, and it is a living document.

"So they say at the very beginning: from time to time as we learn this will change, so perhaps that'll change. But I don't think Checo did anything wrong, going back to his family. He takes all the precautions. I think it's no different than Ferrari going back to Italy, for example."

Read Also:

Szafnauer confirmed that the two people closest to Perez and who travelled with him, his assistant and physio, are also isolating despite testing negative.

Three Racing Point team members who worked with the Mexican in the factory simulator this week have also been tested, and proved to be negative.

"There are two members of staff that travelled with Checo, his PA and his physio," he said. "They both tested negative, but they're isolating as well for either seven or 10 days.

"And then there are three members of the team that did a simulator session with Checo, so they didn't really come in contact with him, because the simulator is in one room, and the control centre where they're at is in a totally separate room.

"So we had the social distance required. We also wore masks as we always do, and PPE as well. As a precaution they then stayed at home and isolated until they got a negative test.

"So we tested them, all three of them are negative as well. They tested again this morning. They're at the factory now, working from the factory.

"They haven't come into the paddock, but my anticipation is they'll be negative again for their second test. And then thereafter, we'll see if we'll make a decision on whether they can come in, whether they should come into the paddock. I'm 100% confident they don't have the virus. But it's belt and braces, so we're testing them twice."

shares
comments

Related video

Perez's COVID positive "a stark reminder" for F1 - Horner
Previous article

Perez's COVID positive "a stark reminder" for F1 - Horner

Next article

Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return

Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021