Sergio Pérez's third place at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday is extra special because the hydration system in his Red Bull car did not work.

The 31-year-old Mexican had a hard time, but eventually stood next to winner Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the podium.

"I couldn't drink from lap one. This was the toughest and longest race of my career," said Pérez, who started a Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas for the 208th time in his career.

"I had a really hard time," Perez continued.

"I felt my strength draining away. Before the race I didn't feel so good and with this warm weather it is very annoying if you run out of water."

After the race, Pérez was finally able to get rid of his fluid deficiency and champagne followed on the podium.

"It's the first time I feel this bad after a Grand Prix. And hopefully the last time."

Sergio Pérez on the podium after the United States GP.

Sergio Pérez on the podium after the United States GP.

Photo: Getty Images

Red Bull is doing good business in the battle for constructors' title

By the way, Pérez didn't come close to winning.

He crossed the finish line at a good distance from the contending Verstappen and Hamilton, but with that he did good business for Red Bull in the battle for the constructors' title.

The gap to Mercedes shrunk to 23 points.

The last time Red Bull won the constructors' title was in 2013. Since then, Mercedes has been consistently the best.

In two weeks, Pérez's home race in Mexico City is on the program.

Verstappen triumphed in 2017 and 2018 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, in 2019 Hamilton took the win.

Last year the Mexican GP was canceled due to the corona pandemic.


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See also: Analysis: Five factors that can help Verstappen to his first title