Perez was in "survival mode" amid illness struggle in US GP

Sergio Perez felt he was in "survival mode" after struggling with illness through Sunday's Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, calling it "the longest race of my life".

Perez was in "survival mode" amid illness struggle in US GP

Perez scored back-to-back podiums for the second time this season by finishing third at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, helping Red Bull make inroads on Mercedes at the top of the constructors' championship.

Perez started well and was side-by-side with teammate Max Verstappen on the opening lap, and sat close enough to race leader Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages to prevent Mercedes from extending his first stint.

But the Mexican driver fell away from the leading duo in the second stint, and eventually finished the race more than 40 seconds behind in third.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed after the chequered flag that Perez had been battling illness all day, and was without his drinks system for the majority of the race after reporting an issue en route to the grid.

"I wasn't feeling well this morning, and yeah, from lap one onwards I had no drink at all," Perez explained after the race.

"It was extremely tough. Already from lap 20, I was completely gone. I had no strength, I was losing strength on my hands, strength on my feet. The vision as well, it was getting quite uncomfortable.

"It was just survival mode, you know, trying to keep up. It was a time that if I had a bad moment, I wouldn't be able to control the car.

"It was the longest race of my life, no doubt about that."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, lifts his trophy

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, lifts his trophy

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Perez had focused on hydrating himself well after "suffering" through Sunday morning before the race, only to find that he had ran out of drink after the opening lap.

"Already from the first stint I was really, really struggling massively to do things properly," Perez said.

"I was really losing strength. And it was really difficult, especially I think the last 30-40 laps were extremely tough."

Third place saw Perez rise to fourth in the drivers' standings ahead of Lando Norris, and helped Red Bull take 13 points out of Mercedes' constructors' championship advantage, reducing the gap to 23 points.

Perez said the weekend had been a "nice boost" for Red Bull, particularly going into his home race in Mexico in two weeks' time.

Read Also:

"I'm looking so much forward to Mexico," Perez said.

"Today was just a shame I couldn't keep up with a Max and Lewis. I was so physically limited today.

"But I look forward to Mexico. I think Mexico should be another good track for us."

shares
comments

Related video

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Previous article

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Next article

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021