Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Sergio Perez tests positive for coronavirus while Racing Point docked points over car design

German driver Nico Hulkenberg gets another opportunity at Silverstone

Mexican Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Racing Point has tested positive for coronavirus. EPA
Mexican Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Racing Point has tested positive for coronavirus. EPA

Sergio Perez has been ruled out of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus, which means he will miss a second consecutive race, his Racing Point team said on Friday.

It was the second unfortunate news for the team on the day, with Racing Point to be docked 15 championship points after a complaint from Renault that it had copied elements from Mercedes' world championship-winning 2019 car was upheld, the FIA revealed.

On Thursday, Perez was given the green light by English health authorities to race at Silverstone after serving seven days in quarantine.

But ahead of practice, his Racing Point team said his latest test was positive and the 30-year-old will be replaced again by German driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Racing Point said Perez, who contracted Covid-19 after visiting his mother in Mexico following last month's Hungarian Grand Prix, was "physically well and recovering".

Hulkenberg, 32, made an impressive return in practice and qualifying for last Sunday's British Grand Prix but was unable to start the race due to a power unit problem.

The outlook is bad for Racing Point as team as well. They will lose 7.5 points for each of their two cars participating in the 2020 season.

It means that ahead of Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Renault move up to fifth place in the manufacturers' standings on 32 points and Racing Point slip to sixth, on 27 points.

The stewards said in a statement that the team would not have to redesign their car.

"It is the view of the stewards that the penalty rendered at the Styrian Grand Prix was proportionate for the violation of the design process...and a further penalty of reprimand is sufficient for the Hungarian and British Grands Prix," they said.

The stewards said the penalty was "intended to penalise the potential advantage Racing Point may have accrued in the brake duct design process" and recognised it was not realistic to expect the team to "unlearn" what it already knew.

Racing Point, owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll and powered by Mercedes engines, has also been fined €200,000 (Dh867,000) per car. Racing Point can appeal the decision.

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Hamilton's last-lap drama at Silverstone

Updated: August 7, 2020 03:00 PM

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