The Red Bull driver has been suffering from gastroenteritis in recent days which prevented him from making it to Jeddah in time for Thursday’s interviews.
In agreement with the International Federation, Verstappen was allowed to miss the Thursday media in Saudi Arabia, but the Dutchman should still arrive by plane in time for the first day of free practice on Friday. The arrival in Jeddah is in fact scheduled for Thursday evening.
It was Verstappen himself who wrote it on social media, who added that he is not suffering from the after-effects of the disease and that he has no doubts that he will be fit for the Grand Prix.
“I feel good again after not being fit for a few days due to an intestinal virus,” said the Dutchman.
“Unfortunately, I had to postpone my flight by one day, so I won’t be on the runway until Friday. See you in Jeddah!”
Red Bull have confirmed they have held discussions with the FIA to allow Verstappen to skip Thursday’s media interview day, a mandatory requirement under F1’s sporting regulations.
Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, in the post Qualifying Press Conference
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
A tweet from Red Bull reads: “Max has been suffering from a stomach ache in recent days and, with the agreement of the FIA, will not be on track today. Get well soon, Max.”
Verstappen will also have some extra time to recover, as Friday’s practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is held at night. The first free practice session is scheduled to start at 16.30 local time on Friday, while the second session will take place at 20.00. In this way, Verstappen will have plenty of time to get ready.
Verstappen currently tops the F1 driver standings following victory in the F1 season opener in Bahrain which he dominated to finish ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Had Verstappen been unable to travel, Red Bull could have replaced him with one of AlphaTauri drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, with the Japanese being the obvious choice due to his experience. Red Bull also has three official reserve drivers: Liam Lawson, Dennis Hauger and Zane Maloney, with the latter two competing in the preparatory categories.
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