A somber Sergio Perez has told his fans that he has no idea where he contracted the coronavirus, the Racing Point driver insisting he followed "all FIA instructions" during his round trip to Mexico after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Perez was placed in isolation yesterday after a first COVID-19 test was flagged as "inconclusive". But the Mexican then tested positive after a second test, which has forced him out of this weekend British Grand Prix and next week's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix also at Silverstone.
The Racing Point charger, who so far has shown no symptoms, will undergo a 10-day quarantine period consistent with the UK government's latest safety measures.
Speaking to his fans on social media, a downbeat Perez spoke of "one of the saddest days" in his career.
"The amount of preparation that we put into this weekend to be 100% ready for it, I knew I had a great car underneath me, that the team has done a fantastic job. I’m really sad that this happens," said.
However, the 30-year-old driver revealed that he had done a round trip to Mexico after leaving Hungary to visit his mother who was recently the victim of an accident.
"This just shows how vulnerable we are all to this virus," he said. "I followed all the instructions from the FIA, from my team after Hungary to go to Mexico to see my mum for two days because she had a big accident. So as soon as she left hospital I was able to see here.
"Then I came back to Europe the same way, all the protocols in place. I just got it, I don’t know from where. I have no symptoms at all."
Thank you everyone for your support and stay safe! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/9IjDKMaWy3
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) July 31, 2020
Perez concluded his video by thanking his fans and F1 colleagues for their many messages of support.
"I want to thank all my fellow drivers for all the support they have given me, my team, the authorities, the fans," he said.
"It’s certainly a tough moment for me at the moment but I’m sure I will come back stronger than this."
The Mexican could theoretically return in time for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, if he tests negative for the COVID-19 after his 10-day quarantine.