Sergio Perez has criticised the coverage of his positive COVID-19 tests, saying the story of his trip home to Mexico ahead of the British Grand Prix has been blown out of proportion.
Perez missed the two races held at Silverstone this month after a positive test, a result which was replicated ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. He has returned for the third race in this triple header, the Spanish Grand Prix, following a negative test ahead of the Barcelona event.
At the time of the first positive test, Perez explained that he had gone home to visit his mother, who had just come out of hospital, but some reports suggested his trip had been slightly wider ranging. Perez hit back at those stories ahead of this weekend's race.
"I found it very unprofessional, those things," the Mexican driver said in an interview with F1's official website. "It's a total lie. "I went to Mexico for two days to see my mum, with all the precautions in place. I took care of everything, followed all the guidelines."
"When I was in quarantine I saw everything, I saw people saying I was taking with selfies with people, I saw that I made up the story about my mum, so much bullshit. So unrespectful."
Perez said it is unfair to make assumptions about the virus.
"People here in Formula One think we are bulletproof to the virus, and that's not the case. We're all very vulnerable to this. I've done nothing differently to anyone else in this paddock. It just happened to me. It happened to another friend in another team, when I was in quarantine he called me and said 'look, I tested positive too'. It can just happen to anyone.
"What cannot happen is that if tomorrow someone else infected that people make up stories instead of being worried about their health."
Perez explained he did not need a negative test before he traveled to Spain, as his period of quarantine had ended in the UK. He had the negative test ahead of the media day on Thursday.