Sergio Perez says the United States Grand Prix was the toughest race of his career from a physical perspective after he didn’t have anything to drink throughout the race.
All of the drivers were faced with a physical challenge at Circuit of The Americas with temperatures in the high 80s on a track with severe bumps and high-speed corners. While Perez was running solidly in third in the early part of the race, he faded to finish 40 seconds adrift of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton and says the lack of hydration really affected him.
“Oh, I struggled massively,” Perez said. “Since lap one I ran out of water. I couldn’t drink at all. I think by the middle of my second stint it was starting to get pretty difficult, losing strength. I think my toughest race ever, physically.”
Given he came so close to taking pole position on Saturday and still finished on the podium despite being exhausted, Perez says it’s a strong final result for him to leave Austin with.
“I think there are a lot of positives to take from the weekend. My race was firstly compromised by the tires that I had and being on the scrubbed medium, I think that was quite a bit of a disadvantage considering how high the degradation was today.
“And then I struggled massively, physically, from lap 20 onwards. 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 lap 20 onwards, I was pretty much done.”