Red Bull's Helmut Marko has explained what exactly was wrong with Max Verstappen during the United States Grand Prix weekend, after revealing that he was ill.
While teammate Sergio Perez was also ill during the race, with his problems made worse by a malfunctioning drinks bottle, Red Bull and Verstappen kept quiet about the Dutchman being under the weather until after the Grand Prix was over and done with.
Marko has since explained how their star driver was feeling over the course of the event.
"He had a normal cold virus, which still exists during the corona[virus] era, which made him falter a little," Marko explained to Germany's Sport1.
"Only at the beginning of the race did he not feel really fit. But he drank a lot in the cockpit [and] that made it better."
Marko added that it didn't seem to affect Verstappen's concentration at all, given how the championship leader kept his cool in the face of unrelenting pressure from Lewis Hamilton.
"There was never any danger to him," Marko said. "On the contrary, the speed he showed in the race was unique.
"But not only that, the overview he had at every phase of the Grand Prix was also astonishing.
"For example, he still had the capacity to point out during the race that now would be the right time to tactically deploy Sergio. This is actually the job of the engineers in the box."
With Verstappen now fully recovered, Red Bull head to Mexico and Brazil – two races that Marko has indicated they must win in order to start feeling some confidence about winning the title.
"Actually, the next two races in Mexico and Sao Paulo should traditionally suit us more than Mercedes because of the altitude," Marko explained.
"But we don't want to rely on it, but [we will] try, as in Austin, to get the best out of our package."
F1 will head to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2021, and RacingNews365.com recently paid a visit to the spectacular Jeddah Corniche Circuit.