Nico Hulkenberg is primed to replace Sergio Perez in the second Racing Point this weekend after the Mexican racer tested positive for Covid-19.
Perez is the first driver in the F1 paddock to contract the virus, ruling him out of this weekend’s British Grand Prix while he goes into quarantine.
F1 has previously had Covid scares among team personnel though Perez is the first driver to have returned a positive test.
Racing Point has also moved to self-isolate a small cluster of team members wo are affiliated with Perez under the recently implemented ‘bubble’ system protocols F1 has in place.
The team remain committed to running two cars this weekend and are set to announce who will partner Lance Stroll in due course, with a surprise name emerging as the likely candidate.
Several sources are suggesting ex-Renault F1 driver Hulkenberg is Racing Point’s preferred choice to take Perez’s place.
Hulkenberg spent five seasons with the team under the Force India moniker in 2011-2012 and again in 2014-2016, having partnered Perez in the latter stint.
Hulkenberg then moved to Renault in 2017 where he stayed until last season when the French marque opted to sign Esteban Ocon on a multi-year deal.
Surpringly, Racing Point does not have a dedicated reserve driver on call to stand in when required at races.
The team instead rely in Mercedes reserves and ex-F1 journeymen Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne, the latter away preparing for the Formula E finale in Berlin while Gutierrez has been sidelined from Grand Prix racing since 2016.
Who will replace Perez will be announved today with FP1 slated for 9.30 pm NZT.