Max Verstappen has opened up on the health setbacks that he suffered prior and during Formula 1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.
Verstappen delayed his arrival in Jeddah amid a stomach bug before going on to top all three practice sessions.
He qualified only 15th, after a driveshaft failure during Q2, and recovered in the race to finish runner-up to Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
Ahead of this weekend’s round in Australia Verstappen revealed that he was suffering more than expected through the course of Jeddah’s event.
“I refused to believe it myself for a long time because at home I was really ill, I could barely walk around and it felt like I was missing a lung,” said Verstappen.
“I got to the weekend really believing it was gone, because normally when you get sick then two or three days after you’re alright and you can do your workouts, but then when I jumped in the car in FP1 even just one performance lap I felt like I had to recover for two laps to breathe normally.
“So it definitely did affect me throughout the weekend, which I didn’t like because it was one of the first races that I was physically limited, and that’s really frustrating when you’re in the car.
“But since then I’ve been trying to work on it, trying to improve it, and I do think that it has improved a lot.
“So normally this weekend should be alright, I think it was just all coming together in Jeddah, it’s quite a tough track in general, when you don’t feel well it hits hard on you.
“But these things unfortunately happen, you catch a virus and stuff, so hopefully from now onwards for the rest of the year I should be OK.”