The 30-year-old Perez has tested positive in two tests but Szafnauer said recent samples showed the amount of virus in his system was coming down significantly.

"He has tested again today and we should have those results tomorrow. I anticipate... he will be in the negative range. I think by the time we get to Barcelona he'll be back in the car," Szafnauer told reporters in a video conference.

Eifel Grand Prix
Eifel GP at Germany's Nurburgring to allow up to 20,000 fans
9 HOURS AGO

Valtteri Bottas claims 70th Annivesary Grand Prix pole at Silverstone

"I was 99% sure that Nico (Hulkenberg) would be in the car for both Silverstone (races) and now I'm 99% sure that Checo (Perez) will be in the car for Spain."

German stand-in Hulkenberg qualified third for Sunday's 70th Anniversary race at Silverstone after failing to start the previous weekend's British Grand Prix.

Nico Hülkenberg

Image credit: Getty Images

Asked why Racing Point had pushed for Perez's return already this weekend, despite strict protocols to protect those in the paddock at races run behind closed doors, Szafnauer said the team had consulted experts.

"The experts gave us such a big range of when Checo would pass negative that it was worthwhile doing. They gave us a range of one week to four to five weeks. They said any time in that range could test negative.

"It was all dependent on when he was first infected... so it made sense for us to try to get our normal driver in."

Perez tested positive after returning to Mexico, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, between the races in Hungary and Britain to see his mother.

Formula 1
Motor racing-FIA will try to avoid Le Mans/F1 clash in 2021, says Todt
YESTERDAY AT 10:22
Formula 1
'Vettel’s time has passed' - Massa on Vettel leaving Ferrari
19/09/2020 AT 10:05