Red Bull driver Sergio Perez missed media day ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix after becoming ill overnight, but has his sights set on a return come Friday.
Perez would have been a very busy driver on Thursday with the Austrian Grand Prix being Red Bull’s home race but, instead, he is now resting up in a bid to be race ready for this upcoming weekend.
Red Bull have confirmed that the Mexican driver is under the weather at the moment, and will thus miss his usual media duties.
Red Bull: Sergio Perez became unwell last night
Perez was not due to appear in the usual Thursday FIA press conferences, instead his mandatory duties were to address television channels in the broadcast pen alongside any privately scheduled Red Bull activities.
But, instead, Perez will stay away from the track in a bid to recuperate as much as possible before clambering into the cockpit of his RB19 on Friday for the sole practice session ahead of qualifying.
The team confirmed 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 readying for action come Friday
Perez moved not long after that announcement from Red Bull to make one of his own, confirming that he was indeed remaining at his hotel on Thursday for some recovery time, but that he fully intends on getting behind the wheel of the RB19 on Friday for the start of the race weekend.
“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,” he stated on social media.
“See you at the track on Friday!”
To Perez’s mind then, he will be ready to go come FP1 at the Red Bull Ring.
Who might Red Bull seek to call upon if Sergio Perez can’t race?
The timing of this illness though is far from ideal for Perez, as the weekend is a sprint event, meaning that the first competitive session of the weekend takes place on Friday evening.
Should the Mexican driver be ruled out of action, Red Bull could seek to call upon the services of one of the AlphaTauri drivers Yuki Tsunoda or Nyck de Vries.
Other possibilities are calling up reserve driver Liam Lawson, who wouldn’t be held back by his Super Formula drive as there is no race scheduled this weekend. But a possible scenario could be the return of Daniel Ricciardo, who is already scheduled for a test with Red Bull following next week’s British Grand Prix.
The Australian raced for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018 and has been brought back into the fold as a Red Bull third/reserve driver after a poor run of form with McLaren in 2021 and ’22.