Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023

Verstappen’s arrival in Jeddah delayed by stomach bug

2023 F1 season

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Max Verstappen will miss Thursday’s media activities ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as he recovers from a stomach complaint.

The two-times world champion revealed on social media he had been suffering from the bug for “a few days.” However Verstappen expects he will be able to participate in tomorrow’s opening day of practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“[I’m] feeling fine again, after not being fit for a few days because of a stomach bug,” said Verstappen. “Therefore, I unfortunately had to postpone my flight for a day, so I won’t be on the track until Friday.”

Red Bull confirmed the FIA have granted Verstappen permission to miss the Thursday’s media day as a result of his illness. Other drivers were granted the same exemption due to illness at some races last year, including McLaren’s Lando Norris.

All drivers are required to participate in media sessions on the day before practice begins for a grand prix.

The two-time reigning world champion is the early championship leader after taking victory in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position, ahead of Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen has never missed a grand prix since making his F1 debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, starting 163 grands prix during that time. Red Bull’s reserve drivers for this season are Super Formula racer Liam Lawson and ex-F1 racer Daniel Ricciardo.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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16 comments on “Verstappen’s arrival in Jeddah delayed by stomach bug”

  1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    16th March 2023, 12:12

    Besides Napoli qualifying in the Champions League, this is the best news we’ve had this week. Now if Max has to pit to use the bathroom, I’ll rate the race as a 10 unless he goes on to win the race after doing so…

    1. Well, whatever makes your day, mate…

    2. Probably not in the “stomach” …

    3. Itsmeagain (@)
      16th March 2023, 17:00

      I hope he wins including a 2,34 min bathroom visit. That would be a 10, but here is would be a 7 (cuze he has a fast car).

  2. “Ever since I was a small larva, I have dreamed of being associated with Oracle Red Bull Racing,” said the bug. “As a nauseating, stomach-turning parasite, I had a natural affinity with Christian Horner. It represents the highlight of my racing career to ensure the double World Champion is purged, free of media distraction, and as near as possible to the weight limit as he prepares for the iconic, much-loved Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.”

  3. ” I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that sandwich Daniel Ricciardo made me! “

    1. They had to save on the catering budget somehow.

    2. Now Verstappen is pregnant

  4. hopefully Max will be back to full fitness soon. :)

  5. Some of these comments are a bit rude like don’t wish people ill just stick to what josh revell says don’t be a manus

    1. agreed – to be clear, I don’t wish anyone ill at all, let alone Max! I’m very much a Red Bull fan and want to see all the best drivers competing. My comment was meant to be a tongue in cheek, light-hearted joke. ;)

    2. Itsmeagain (@)
      16th March 2023, 17:10

      Indeed, just wait for the reactions here when Lewis has hurt cuze some bouncy bouncies…..I will start a lobby for some midseason rulechanges to prevent this enormous health risks for drivers. Maybe Tost can mention it with the first series of interviews this weekend…..

      1. Thought Id look through the comments to see how long it took to turn into an anti-Ham post…Congrats.. longer than I thought, you have shown considerable constraint to last this long…

        1. Itsmeagain (@)
          17th March 2023, 8:42

          Scrolling for anti ham posts…… I rest my case. As long as people here write with double standards this will happen. Have a nice day

  6. When is the cutoff date for declaring a rookie driver for P1?
    Just wondering if Max was still ill, could RB take advantage of would this not count as it’s too late / not officially planned?

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