Max Verstappen felt he was ‘missing a LUNG’ and ‘couldn’t breathe normally’ ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, despite leading the Red Bull star brilliantly from 15th to second.
- Max Verstappen has admitted how sick he was before the GP in Saudi Arabia
- The Dutchman was ill in the build-up to the race but led from 15th to second
- Verstappen claimed he felt as if he had lost a lung at home during the week
Max Verstappen has admitted he felt as if he had lost a lung preparing for the Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
The Red Bull star started from 15th on the grid but worked his way through the field to finish second behind teammate Sergio Perez on the Jeddah Corniche on March 19th.
Despite this performance, Verstappen, 25, revealed he had been very ill in the week before the race.
The Dutchman missed the media day in the Middle East after staying at home to recover – and added that he felt “physically limited” on the track in the wake of his illness.
Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, he said: ‘At home I was really sick, like I could barely get around and felt like I had just lost a lung.
Max Verstappen has admitted he felt as if he had “lost a lung” ahead of the Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia
The Red Bull star finished second in Jeddah after a great drive took him from 15th place to the podium
But Verstappen, 25, revealed he felt so ill before the race that he felt like he had ‘lost a lung’.
The weekend has come, and I really believe it’s over. Because usually when you get sick, like two or three days after you’re usually fine, you can just do your exercises.
“But then when I jumped in the car in FP1, even just one performance, I felt like I had to recover for a couple of laps to be able to breathe normally. So yeah, it definitely affected me all weekend.
And Verstappen admitted he is in better shape now, after a week off, as the drivers prepare for a three-week break after this weekend in Melbourne.
He added, “I was trying to work on it (fitness), trying to improve it, and I think it has improved a lot. So naturally this weekend will be fine. It’s a tough track in general (in Australia) and when you don’t feel right it hits you hard.
Double champion Verstappen has continued his dominance since last season and leads the drivers’ standings with 44 points, one ahead of Mexican ‘Chico’ Perez.
Red Bull, makers of Christian Horner, has 87 points, compared to Aston Martin and Mercedes in second place, with just 38.