Sergio Perez has arrived in the paddock for the Austrian Grand Prix after recovering from an illness that kept him away from the track on Thursday.
The Red Bull driver had been away from media duties in Spielberg on Thursday after being taken ill on Wednesday, and needed to recuperate to ensure his fitness to participate this weekend.
The team said to PlanetF1.com in a statement: “Checo [Perez] won’t be at the circuit today. He became unwell last night and is taking the day to rest to ensure he’s in the best possible health for this weekend’s race.”
Sergio Perez back to compete this weekend
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko confirmed to media in Austria that Perez had been suffering from a cold on Thursday, and Liam Lawson would have been the driver prepared to take his place if necessary, with fellow reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo not in Austria this weekend.
While taking the day to recover, Perez posted on his Instagram story to assuage any concerns surrounding his fitness, writing: “Last night I wasn’t feeling good, so we decided to go straight to the hotel in Austria to have proper recovery time to be 100% tomorrow.
“See you at the track on Friday!”
And now he has made good on those words, being spotted arriving at the paddock at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Friday’s running, which takes on a different weekend structure to usual with it being a sprint weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix.
As a result, Perez will need to hit the ground running with just a single free practice session to get his eye in around the circuit, before qualifying takes place later on Friday afternoon.
This will set the grid for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, with Saturday now set aside for the Sprint Shootout and shortened race itself, ran over a one-third race distance, with points available for the top eight finishers.
Perez heads into the weekend 69 points behind Red Bull team-mate and World Championship leader Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings, with plenty of ground to make up if he is looking to get back into the fight for his first title.