Sergio Perez said he had “no sleep” all weekend as he continued to battle with illness throughout the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was excused from media duties last Thursday after he was reported to have had a cold, recovering in time to take part in practice and qualifying at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.
He had a disappointing day and qualified 15th for the race but battled back to a podium finish come Sunday, though he was still feeling the effects of a fever and sickness.
Sergio Perez suffered “high fevers” and “sickness” for days
Perez managed to make up 12 places in a frantic Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday with some daring moves throughout the race, but the Mexican driver’s podium finish came with him still not operating at peak physical fitness.
While he had said ahead of the weekend that he needed a day to recover in time to race, the reality of his situation was that he battled through illness to compete in Austria.
“Yeah, I’m really happy. It’s been a very difficult weekend for me personally, physically. I have been really, really weak,” Perez said after the race.
“I was sick on Thursday, so it hasn’t been an easy weekend. You know, high fevers, no sleep during the weekend. So great recovery from the team. A fantastic strategy and we had a great pace.”
When asked later how he has been feeling in the post-race press conference, Perez elaborated that he is still not feeling up to scratch, and hopes to recover in time for next weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“Definitely not great,” he said of how he has felt recently.
“I haven’t had a good rest. Every night I’ve had a fever and I think when that happens and then you are on medications, automatically you are not 100% at all.
“It’s a very demanding sport, in the car and out of the car. I’ve just been really sick, so I really hope that I can recover in a few days, because Silverstone is another very hard, race very demanding so I really need time. I’m really far from 100% at the moment.”
One of the highlights of the Red Bull driver’s race was his intense battle with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for the final podium place on the track, with Perez eventually making his way past after several laps of duelling.
Sainz had said Perez was “intimidating” him on multiple occasions during their battle while Perez accused Sainz of moving under braking, but fighting back through the field has given the Red Bull driver confidence after what he admitted has been a “rough patch” of late.
“Yeah, it was very hard but fair, like you said, always a pleasure to race them,” he said of his battle with the Ferraris.
“They were very, very strong, especially in the low speed. They were having very good traction. But it’s a good comeback.
“It’s been a bit of a rough patch for me. So now hopefully we are back and we can keep that consistency now.”