Nico Hulkenberg is to have a second outing with Racing Point in Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone after Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 once again.
After missing the British GP the Mexican was given the official go-ahead to end his quarantine yesterday by Public Health England, following some uncertainty over whether it should have lasted for seven or 10 days.
However under the FIA Code of Conduct he then had to get a negative test result before he was allowed in the paddock in order to compete in the race. He duly took a test on Thursday.
The team announced today: “Sergio’s test has returned a positive result and he will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health England. He is physically well and recovering.”
“The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”
The team gave no indication about the prospect of Perez racing in Spain next weekend.
Hulkenberg will thus get a second opportunity to race the RP20 after he was unable to start the British GP when a clutch issue meant that the team was not able to start his power unit in the garage.
“I’m excited to get going again with the team at Silverstone,” he said. “Last weekend, it was a real step into the unknown having been away from the team for a few years – and driving a car I’d never driven before.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last week about the RP20, and I am ready to apply my experiences to this weekend.
“Racing at the same track again makes things a bit easier and the team has done a great job in helping me get up to speed.
“I think we can fight for points this weekend, which is definitely my goal. I also want to wish Checo all the best in his recovery.”
“Nico did a really strong job last weekend after receiving a last-minute call to drive for us at Silverstone,” said team boss Otmar Szafnauer. “And he proved why he was an obvious choice to stand in for Checo.
“It was a big shame he couldn’t actually take the start of the race last Sunday, but all that hard work will prove very useful for this weekend.
“We miss having Checo with us, but we wish him well and look forward to welcoming him back into the team in the near future.”