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Racing Point "99% sure" Perez will return for Spanish Grand Prix

Racing Point "99% sure" Perez will return for Spanish Grand Prix

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Racing Point "99% sure" Perez will return for Spanish Grand Prix

Racing Point "99% sure" Perez will return for Spanish Grand Prix

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer is "99% sure" Sergio Perez will return for next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

Perez has been forced to miss the two race weekends at Silverstone after testing positive for Covid-19 following a return to Mexico to visit his mother who had been in hospital following an accident.

In his absence, Nico Hülkenberg has done an exceptional job after nine months away from the sport, notably qualifying third ahead of Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Providing an update on Perez's progress, Szafnauer said: "He was tested yesterday and it seems like the amount of virus in his system is coming down significantly.

"He was tested again today and we should have those results tomorrow. I anticipate, whether we get a result tomorrow or early next week, he will be in the negative range.

"I think by the time we get to Barcelona he'll be back in the car - but I'm trying to guess the future, so if that doesn't happen, don't crucify me!

"But I was 99% sure that Nico [Hulkenberg] would be in the car for both Silverstone races and now I'm 99% sure that Checo will be in the car for Spain."

Szafnauer claims his team went through the appropriate channels regarding the possibility of getting Perez back in the car as soon as possible, including Eurofins Scientific, a Luxembourg-based company employed by F1 to conduct all tests, and they did not ignore any advice.

"We consulted a lot of experts, including a lab that we use for all of our staff at Silverstone, consulted with the Eurofins experts as well," added Szafnauer.

"You've got to remember this coronavirus is a novel virus, which means people don't know much about it, and the experts gave us such a big range of when Checo would pass negative that it was worthwhile doing.

"They gave us a range of one week to four to five weeks. They said any time in that range he could test negative.

"It was all dependent on when he was first infected, which nobody could predict, so it made sense for us to try to get our contracted normal driver in as opposed to a stand-in.

"I think we did absolutely the right thing to continue to test him to see what was going to happen."

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