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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: A view from outside the Red Bull Racing garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2023 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Perez reports sick, Ricciardo on standby for Austrian GP

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: A view from outside the Red Bull Racing garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2023 in Spielberg, Austria. Perez reports sick, Ricciardo on standby for Austrian GP (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Bull cancelled all of Sergio Perez’s media duties on Thursday ahead of their home Austrian Grand Prix after the Mexican reported sick, which will have reserve Daniel Ricciardo on stand-by.

RBR reported Perez’s condition to media today in Spielberg: “He became unwell last night and is taking the day to rest to ensure he’s in the best possible health for this weekend’s race.

Perez is Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen’s closest 2023 F1 world title rival but is still a huge 69 points behind his double-world champion teammate after eight races.

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The Mexican needs a strong showing at Spielberg after failing to qualify in the top ten or stand on the podium in the last three races. And according to the betting odds, Perez is the second favourite at 15/2 but bookies are banking on Verstappen at a meagre 1/3 reward.

Heading to Austria for Round 9, these are the Betway odds for the Grand Prix:

betway odds for 2023 Austrian Grand Prix F1

Perez: I know how important it is for me to have a consistent weekend

Baku Takeaways: A Red Bull conundrum?

That race in Baku remains his most recent win and he has had only one podium finish since then while Verstappen has won the last four. Friday features a single practice session and qualifying for Sunday’s race with Saturday a standalone sprint day.

In the RBR race weekend preview report, Perez said: “It’s always a great race in Austria, it’s obviously the home of Red Bull and that makes it extra special for all of us in the Team.

“I also can’t believe how many Mexican fans make the trip, every year on the green carpet arriving into the circuit I see the Mexico flag, which makes me smile.

“For me, my focus will be on track though because I know how important it is for me to have a consistent weekend and really produce a result, I know I am capable of. The weather looks like it could be tricky.

“It’s a Sprint weekend so time in the car to set-up will be minimal and critical. We must maximise every moment we have to prepare. I had fun at the last Sprint weekend in Baku and it was a very successful time but at a very different circuit.

I want to achieve the same again but know I need to step up to achieve that,” concluded Perez. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Additional Reporting GP247)