Sergio Perez not only had drinks bottle issue but was under the weather on Sunday of F1 US GP, but hung on to third with praise from Christian Horner.

Back to back podiums for Red Bull’s Perez should put a smile on the Mexican’s face. Normally yes, but there was more to it.  After a great qualifying, unknown to most of the paddock was struck down by diarrhoea on the morning of the race. COTA is a physical enough challenge without having troubles the like of that.

But that was only part of his issues as we were to find out after. On top of that, his drinks system was not working as well. Already on the way to the grid, he complained about bottle leak and it seemingly failed during the race. “I think it was my toughest race ever physically,” said Perez. “It was a horrible one.

“I was suffering from some diarrhoea early in the morning for some reason, I don’t know, so I hydrated myself really well. But then, since Lap 1 onwards I ran out of drink and already, from the first stint I was really really struggling massively to make things properly.

“I was really losing strength and it was really difficult. I think the last 30 or 40 laps were really tough.” After reading those trials and tribulations, he was a possible candidate for “driver of the day”.  Perez then further talks about his race from a racing viewpoint as opposed to his personal traumas.

“It was nice,” Perez continued, as he hopes to never be in a situation like this ever again. “I think there are a lot of positives to take from the weekend. My race was, I think, firstly compromised by the tyres that I had and being on the scrubbed Medium, I think was quite a bit of a disadvantage considering how high the degradation was.

“And then, I struggled massively, physically, from lap 20 onwards, so it wasn’t an ideal race. But I think we managed to stay within the undercut region from the leaders and that really triggered the undercut, firstly with Max on Lewis. We tried to do the same with Lewis and he had no other option but to pit, so we avoid him doing his optimal race, so I think in that sense it worked well, but since lap 20 onwards, I was pretty much done,” summed up Perez, who was put on the mediums for his second stint to pressurise Lewis Hamilton.

Done or not, a strong and admirable drive and a very intelligent one also, a fact not lost on Team Boss Horner. “Absolutely and he’s been a bit under the weather this weekend as well, he’s had a bit of a cold and so that was tough not to have the not to have the drink system for him,” he said to TV media after the race.

“But again the way he managed the race, you can see his confidence is growing, that’s the second race in a row he’s on the podium now, his home race coming up and you know he’s finding finding his form which is crucial for us at this time of the year,” summed up Horner, as Perez scored some crucial points, especially towards the constructors’ fight.

The fact is that since Perez was announced as a Red Bull driver for 2022, he had been having a quiet enough time of it. Verstappen’s season was on the up but Perez’s fortunes had been a little flat, so much so that questions might even have been raised about him getting a second year, but he is slowly recovering and improving to help Red Bull.

The story was written by Neil Farrell

Here’s how F1 US GP panned out