Formula One: Sergio Perez insists he was 'unlucky' to contract coronavirus after trip home to Mexico

Racing Point driver defends his actions ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix

epa08601273 A handout photo made available by the FIA shows Mexican Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Racing Point addressing to media during the drivers press conference for the Formula One Grand Prix of Spain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, 13 August 2020.  EPA/FIA/F1 HANDOUT  SHUTTERSTOCK OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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Sergio Perez has defended his decision to fly home to Mexico after last month's Hungarian Grand Prix, a trip that preceded him testing positive for coronavirus on his return.

The Racing Point driver missed both the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix, with his seat being taken by late stand-in Nico Hulkenberg.

Perez was forced to quarantine in a Milton Keynes apartment after he contracted the virus.

"I put everything out on a video," he said on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. "Where I went, any place I visited and anything I did after Hungary. Everything was done with extreme precautions, within very extreme lines.

"I was well aware what was going on. I think I was just unlucky. I haven't done anything different to the rest of the paddock.

"So I was just the unlucky one to get it. That's one thing, but I'm not willing to take any blame for that because anyone can get it. I was just the unlucky one."

Perez tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday and was permitted to re-enter the F1 paddock and return for this weekend's Spanish GP.

He said he had flown home to visit his mother in hospital after she was hurt in an accident.

He stayed only two days in Mexico, one of the Latin American hotspots for the coronavirus.

Perez has recovered from the virus without suffering any symptoms and said he has no plans to change his lifestyle habits.

"To be honest, before that, we were already so conservative and took so many precautions that nothing really changes – whether you are positive or negative.

"The procedures are very, very similar, so the amount of precautions that we take have been already in place, there's nothing really more or to do differently than what I've done and what we're doing already."

Perez said he was pleased to be back in his cockpit after watching the last two races at Silverstone on TV.

"I found it really boring to be watching the races rather than being in it," he said.

"Especially the first Silverstone race, that was very boring until the last lap or two and the punctures.


Gallery: Max Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary GP


"It has been tough for me but I am finally rid of the virus and I am happy to be back with my team and doing what I love."

Meanwhile, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel recognised he was going through a tough period but insisted there had been no talks with Ferrari about parting ways before the end of the season.

The German has scored just 10 points from five races, compared to teammate Charles Leclerc's 45.

Ferrari announced in May that Vettel, who had been expecting a new contract, would be leaving at the end of the year with Spaniard Carlos Sainz joining from McLaren.

There has since been some speculation about whether the German would even see out the campaign with the Italian team.

"I've been in a happier place," he said when asked how frustrated he felt with the way things were going.

"I love fighting at the front, winning and feeling you can achieve great results. It will be difficult this year with the package that we have."

Asked whether he had any concerns about being shown the door early, the 33-year-old replied: "Oh I don't know, I don't think so.

"We haven't even considered or spoken about it. So I guess its not just a question for myself. I know what I'm aware of, I know the job that I can do. At the moment it's not been the cleanest run.

"I'm sure if things calm down and I get a decent chance then I will use it."