Sergio Perez has expressed confusion over how he tested positive for COVID-19 after following the safety protocols outlined by the FIA.
The Mexican has been forced to sit out this weekend's race at Silverstone after he returned a positive test result on Friday, becoming the first driver to do so this year.
Perez says he returned to his home country in a private plane after the Hungarian Grand Prix to visit his mother, who had just been released from the hospital, before returning to Europe.
Taking to social media on Friday morning, Perez delivered a message in which he says he's “extremely sad” to be on the sidelines.
“Hi everybody, as you know I tested positive for COVID-19,” he said. “I'm extremely sad, it's one of the saddest days in my career.
“The amount of preparation that we put into this weekend to be 100% ready for it, I knew we had a great car underneath me, the team has done a fantastic job.”
Perez says the positive test coming back despite the fact he claims to have followed the FIA's guidelines shows how vulnerable everyone is to the virus.
“I'm really sad that this happened but it just shows how vulnerable we are to this virus. I followed all the instructions from the FIA, from my team,” Perez said.
“After Hungary, I took a private plane to Mexico to see my mum for two days to see my mum, because she had a big accident, so as soon as she left hospital I was able to see her.
“Then I came back to Europe the same way, with all the protocols in place and I just got it, I don't know from where.”
Confined to isolation, Perez affirms that he is not suffering from any symptoms that have been associated with the virus.
“I have no symptoms at all, so it shows how vulnerable we are to this. I want to thank my fellow drivers for all the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, the fans.
“It's certainly a dark moment for me but I'm sure I will come back stronger from this.”
Perez's replacement for the British Grand Prix weekend has not officially been named, however it is expected that Nico Hulkenberg is being lined up to take his seat.
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