Hulkenberg reportedly Racing Point's preferred sub for Perez

Hulkenberg reportedly Racing Point's preferred sub for Perez

Former Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg is reportedly Racing Point's preferred choice to replace Sergio Perez after the Mexican was ruled out of the British GP after testing positive for COVID-19. Perez subsequently skipped Thursday's media day and observed a period of self-isolation away from the circuit.

A second test was carried out on Thursday, with the result announced in the evening revealing Perez has coronavirus.

The Mexican is the first Formula 1 driver to test positive since the 2020 season made a belated start in Austria this month. All close contacts with the driver have also been quarantined, with F1 expecting the incident to have "no wider impact" on the Silverstone weekend.

Although Racing Point has an agreement with Mercedes to use either Esteban Gutierrez or Stoffel Vandoorne if required, RACER understands Hulkenberg is set to partner Lance Stroll at the team he raced for in 2012 and again from 2014-16.

Racing Point said in a statement that it plans to enter both cars at Silverstone, but the exact identity of his replacement is yet to be revealed.

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"Sergio is physically well and in good spirits, but he will continue to self-isolate under the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for the team and the sport", his Racing Point team said in a statement.

"The entire team wishes Sergio well and looks forward to welcoming him back into the cockpit of the RP20 soon". Our intention is to race two cars on Sunday. Those individuals were quickly isolated and removed from operations ahead of the race weekend in Hungary, allowing the grand prix to continue as normal.

Unlike the positive involving a McLaren team member in Melbourne back in March, which forced F1 to abandon its opening race weekend entirely, the protocols now are far tighter and Perez's positive is unlikely to have a huge knock-on effect.

On Thursday, the United Kingdom increased the self-isolation period for anyone testing positive for COVID-19 from seven to ten days, meaning Perez could potentially also miss next week's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

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