Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

I hope I never feel this bad again says Perez after illness and dehydration in race

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said he has never felt as bad after a race as he did following yesterday’s United States Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was unwell during the course of the weekend, suffering a bout of diarrhoea. He encountered a problem with his drinks system before the start of the race, which deposited fluid into his balaclava, and the team were unable to fix it before the start.

Unable to drink throughout the race, Perez said he was “losing strength” by the middle of his second stint. He described it as his “toughest race ever physically”.

Asked if he’d ever felt as bad after a race, Perez said “no, it’s the first time, and I hope the last one.”

However Perez said there were “a lot of positives to take from the weekend” in which he scored his fourth podium finish of the year. He also helped team mate Max Verstappen prevail in his fight with Lewis Hamilton by ensuring the Mercedes driver could not extend his first stint.

“My race was, I think, firstly compromised by the tyres that I had and being on the scrubbed medium. I think was quite a bit of a disadvantage considering how high the degradation was today.

“I struggled massively, physically, from lap 20 onwards, so it wasn’t an ideal race,” said Perez. “But I think we managed to stay within the undercut region from the leaders and that really triggered the undercut, firstly with Max on Lewis. We tried to do the same with Lewis and he had no other option but to pit, so we avoid him doing his optimal race, so I think in that sense it worked well.

“But since lap 20 onwards, I was pretty much done.”

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2021 United States Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “I hope I never feel this bad again says Perez after illness and dehydration in race”

  1. Great weekend by Perez – even before you factor this in.

    Interesting what a fantastic finish to the season he had last year. Expecting amazing things in Mexico – health permitting..

  2. Got to feel sorry for Sergio this time around.
    He showed signs throughout the weekend of being at least very close to Max’s pace… But illness and lack of hydration (not a good combo) impacted how much he could show.

    Would he have finished better than third if he was able to show his pace?
    Well, I doubt it considering the fine margins between Max and Lewis in the end. Though, I have no doubt he’d have finished closer to Lewis and Max, and maybe made Lewis’ life a little harder throughout the race.

    1. “Montezuma’s Revenge” in reverse?

  3. He did look quite knackered compared to Lewis and Max on the podium and his post race interviews. There was lot of sighing in his interviews compared to others.

    It felt that he would prefer to sit and sleep, than talk any more.

    Overall, one of his most balanced weekends of the year. Good on Saturday and Sunday both.

  4. Shame on such a good weekend, but should he really be this nackered after 20 laps? Not training enough?

    1. Hydration is extremely important in the Texan heat + he probably wasn’t 100% to start with due to illness. If you listening to one of Checo’s post races interviews he said he was losing strength in his arms and legs and his vision was going.

    2. @balue You try doing something as strenuous as driving an F1 car, in hot conditions, after a bout of diarrhoea, with no hydration. Perez is a fit guy, they all are, but that would have been hard for anyone.

    3. Yes it was surely hard, but I’ve seen marathon runners do incredible times with bowel contents running down their legs. I just notice he looks slightly pudgy. Remember even greats like Senna wasn’t really that fit.

      1. Balue, that’s not a fair comparison. I’ve been karting (proper karting, not hire karts) whilst suffering with the onset of pneumonia. I can assure you, that even just karting was enough to feel like I was on the verge of death, let alone pulling such extreme G-Forces in such heat.

        1. @bradders But were you super-fit as is the point here?

      2. What I see is that you’re writing incredible comments with bowel contents running down your legs.

  5. Drinks are vital for racers, it should have enough measures that they get hydrated in the race.

  6. it seems easier for the teams to get impressive reliability from the 1000hp hybrid high tech PUs than the drink systems :)

  7. As for the drinks-system not working, it’s sort of incredible to think that with all of F1’s technical know-how, it’s still a recurring theme after decades of using it. It’s a pump and pipe. How hard can it be to foolproof it?

  8. There you are. He felt worse than he did when he reportedly suffered from a CoV2 infection.

  9. Another simple but failed drink system? Really. Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps somebody on Max’s side of the garage thought Sergio was getting a bit too fast?

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