Max Verstappen will miss media day in Jeddah after suffering stomach bug

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, looks right. Bahrain, February 2023.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, looks right over his shoulder. Bahrain, February 2023.

Max Verstappen won’t be present for Thursday’s media day at the Jeddah circuit, the driver forced to delay his flight after coming down with a stomach bug.

The good news is he now “feeling fine”, he’s just running late.

Red Bull announced on Thursday morning that their World Champion would be late arriving for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend having been ill for the past few days.

The driver was given permission by the FIA to skip Thursday’s media commitments, giving him another day at home to recover.

“Max has been suffering from a stomach illness over the past few days,” said the team, “and, with the agreement of the FIA, will not be present at track today.”

The good news for his Orange Army is he is now feeling “fine”, he just had to delay his flight.

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

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Verstappen is set to line up on Sunday’s grid as the favourite to take the win after his dominant performance in Bahrain.

Last time out he won by 11s ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez, but a bigger concern for his rivals is that he was 38s ahead of the third-placed car of Fernando Alonso.

The Dutchman, though, has downplayed talk of a rampage at the Jeddah circuit.

“Jeddah is going to be quite different,” he told the media including after his Bahrain victory.

“Our car, it seems quite strong in high speed, but I think Ferrari is quite quick on the straight, which in Jeddah, of course, is very nice to have, let’s say it like that.

“But time will tell. I mean, it’s really hard to know, we’ve only really driven these cars here in Bahrain, so we just have to wait and see.

“We will of course, try and get there in the best shape possible, and then we’ll find out throughout practice where we are exactly.”