Red Bull driver Sergio Perez admits he felt like "the stupidest guy on Earth" last season after becoming the first Formula 1 driver to catch COVID-19.
The Mexican was forced to miss both races at Silverstone after catching the virus during a trip home to Mexico while visiting his mother, who had been in hospital. Checo revealed that being the first F1 driver to miss time because of the virus was tough for him to deal with.
"I certainly had a very tough year I will say," Perez stating during a video interview hosted by Red Bull. "With corona, being the first driver to get the virus, now it's like a bit more normal [that] people get it - but at the time it was like, 'you're the most stupid guy on Earth because you got the virus.'
"It was very harsh for me to deal with it."
Perez returned to action and eventually finished the season fourth in the drivers' standings, registering his first victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix. However it wasn't enough to keep his seat at the now rebranded Aston Martin team, with Sebastian Vettel brought in as his replacement.
Although the Mexican was unsure how things would play out at the time, he's happy to have joined Red Bull.
"It was a very critical time in my career, because there was the contract thing," Perez continued. "In the end I lost the seat with my team, but it worked out really well. But I never knew what was going to happen.
"When that happened, I was pretty relaxed. I thought, 'well, I've had a tremendous career already and I'm pleased with myself, but I just have to give it all weekend after weekend and see what happens.' When the Red Bull opportunity opened up, it was sometimes looking better, sometimes looking worse. But in the end, it worked out."