Formula One driver Sergio Perez says he might have contracted the coronavirus during a trip to Mexico between races in Hungary and Britain. The Racing Point driver tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss Sunday's race at Silverstone and another the following week at the same track while in isolation.
In a video message on Twitter, however, Perez said he had taken a private plane home to see his mother for two days after she suffered an accident.
"As soon as she left hospital. I was able to see her. And then I came back to Europe. Same way, with all the protocols in place. I just got it, I don't know from where. I have no symptoms at all," said the 30-year-old.
Mexico is one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic, with 416,179 total confirmed infections, according to the Health Ministry's latest official count.
The country's death toll as of Thursday was 46,000, almost the same as the United Kingdom which has the third-highest in the world.
"It is one of the saddest days in my career," said Perez, who is now in self-isolation and also likely to miss the following 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
"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 and the team have done a fantastic job.
"I'm really sad that this happened, but this just shows just how vulnerable we are all to this virus," added Perez, who is sixth in the championship with Racing Point challenging for third.
The Mexican used a private jet to fly home and says he has no symptoms. The pandemic delayed the start of the season by more than three months.
(With inputs from Agcnies)