Sergio Perez has revealed the extent of the illness he has been battling during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
The Red Bull driver opted to skip Thursday at the race event and wasn’t present for media duties one day before on-track action began.
However, Perez was at the wheel of the car on Friday, enduring the revised sprint format that gives drivers less practice time before jumping into competitive sessions.
Perez had a difficult qualifying outing and failed to progress into Q3 once again on Friday, before recovering to third place in the grand prix.
“I’m really happy,” Perez said after the race. “It’s been a very difficult weekend for me personally, physically.
“I have been really, really weak. I was sick on Thursday. So, it hasn’t been an easy weekend.
“High fevers, no sleep, during the weekend. So, a great recovery from the team, fantastic strategy and we had great pace.”
The result marked Perez’s first podium result since the Miami Grand Prix, almost two months ago.
“It’s been a bit of a rough patch for me,” he added. “So, now, hopefully we are back and we can keep those positions here now.”
Perez’s team-mate Max Verstappen dominated the race en route to his fifth consecutive win and seventh victory of the 2023 season.
However, Verstappen was made to work for the glory, as he overtook both Ferrari cars on track after adopting a different race strategy.
“We opted not to box during the Virtual Safety Car, and just follow our normal strategy,” the Dutchman said.
“I think that worked out really well, because the tyre life was not that high around here. I think our stints were perfect.
“I could see already the few laps before the virtual safety car came out. We were pulling out quite a gap.
“So, I knew that I would get them back eventually. I think just following our own plan at the time was the best way forward.”