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
Listen to this article

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

Live: Follow British GP practice as it happens
Previous article

Live: Follow British GP practice as it happens

Next article

Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return

Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022