Sergio Perez’s unexpected illness disrupts preparation for Austrian Grand Prix

Battling illness, Sergio Perez's participation hangs in the balance, with replacement driver Daniel Ricciardo potentially stepping up.

Despite his desire to return to the podium at the Austrian Grand Prix of Formula 1, Sergio “Checo” Pérez encountered an unexpected obstacle. The Mexican Red Bull Racing driver could not participate in Thursday’s pre-race activities due to an illness that affected him. In a surprising turn of events, Perez had to spend the day resting in his hotel room, looking to recover ahead of Friday’s free practice.

Message from the Mexican on Instagram.
Message from the Mexican on Instagram.

Sergio Perez used his Instagram account to inform his followers about his situation. He revealed that he was not feeling well the night before, which led them to head straight to the hotel in Austria. His goal was to have adequate time to rest and recover as much as possible before facing the challenges on the track. Although the illness has affected him, the Mexican driver maintains a positive attitude and expects to be in top shape to show his ability on the circuit on Friday.

Checo Perez‘s health condition has generated concern among his team, who used their social media platforms to communicate the situation. According to the message posted, the Mexican driver will not be present at the circuit today due to his discomfort last night.

What will happen if he does not recover?

In case the Mexican driver does not recover in time, the reserve driver could take his place, which in this case is Daniel Ricciardo. In Formula 1, the reserve is used in several situations, mainly when the regular driver cannot compete due to injury, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances. Reserve drivers are usually part of the team and are prepared to take over the wheel in case of need. It is worth noting that even Red Bull Racing could use other regular drivers to replace Perez, including Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries from the Netherlands.

Might be interesting:

The reserve driver is especially important during race weekends, where practice sessions, qualifying, and the race occur. If the regular driver cannot participate in one or more of these sessions, the team may call its reserve driver to take his place.

Daniel Ricciardo is the reserve driver. Photo credit: Instagram.
Daniel Ricciardo is the reserve driver. Photo credit: Instagram.

Perez remains in contention for the championship.

Despite being Max Verstappen‘s main contender in the fight for the title, Checo Pérez is at a considerable disadvantage. After eight races, the Mexican driver is 69 points behind his teammate, the talented double world champion. Unfortunately, that gap has widened significantly in recent weeks, presenting an even greater challenge for Checo in his quest for the top spot.

The need for an outstanding performance at Spielberg becomes imperative for Checo Perez, who has failed to finish on the podium in the last three races. Since the Miami Grand Prix on May 7, the Mexican driver has not been able to repeat that feat, and that date seems to be very distant as the season progresses. Checo must reverse this streak and look for an outstanding performance at the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.