MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 01:13:00| >> :600:2823001:2823001:

Racing Point boss expects rules to change following Sergio Perez's positive test

The Mexican driver will be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg at Silverstone after contracting the illness.

Sergio Perez's Racing Point boss believes Formula One drivers could now be forced to stay in their bubbles for the rest of the season.

Perez, 30, will miss Sunday's British Grand Prix after he contracted coronavirus following a trip home to see his mother in Mexico.

Perez, who says he is displaying no symptoms, is also likely to be ruled out of next weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone if he is subjected to 10 days of quarantine. He is the first driver to have tested positive for the illness.

The Covid-19 Code of Conduct, drawn up by the FIA, forced members of F1's travelling circus to stay within their so-called bubbles, consisting of three to four people, during the opening rounds in Austria and Hungary.

But drivers and team members were afforded freedom of movement following the Hungarian Grand Prix and ahead of the two races at Silverstone. There are 13 confirmed races this season, with the plan of adding five further rounds and the campaign due to end in December in the Middle East.

"In hindsight, and hindsight is a wonderful thing, perhaps we should look at changing the Code of Conduct and say you stay within your bubble for the season," said Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

"That is something for the FIA to consider and perhaps that will change but I don't think Sergio did anything wrong by flying back home to Mexico.

Racing Point principal Otmar Szafnauer
Otmar Szafnauer expects 'bubble' rules to be tightened (David Davies/PA)

"We have got no clauses in his contract where Sergio has to ask permission to go back to his family in Mexico.

"It is not a surprise he went back there, that is what he has done whilst he has been driving for us. We discussed how he would get there and it was always a private flight, so there wasn't an issue with that."

Nico Hulkenberg has been drafted in to replace Perez. He arrived at Birmingham Airport at 7pm from Cologne in Germany on Thursday night before travelling down to Northamptonshire.

Hulkenberg, dropped by Renault last season, returned a negative Covid-19 test result just 15 minutes before opening practice on Friday, allowing him to participate. So late was the call-up, he even had to borrow a set of overalls from new Canadian team-mate Lance Stroll.

Hulkenberg finished ninth of the 20 runners during the first running, six tenths off Stroll's pace.

In a video posted to Twitter earlier on Friday, Perez said: "I'm extremely sad, definitely one of the saddest days in my career. I have no symptoms at all so it just shows how vulnerable we all are to this virus.

"I followed all the instructions from FIA, from my team. After Hungary I took a private plane 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 her.

"Then I came back to Europe with all the same protocols in place. And I just got it, I don't know from where.

"These are certainly tough moments for me at the moment, but I am sure I will come back stronger from this. I hope to see you soon at a race track."

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Nico Hulkenberg pictured on September 5, 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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