Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jnr says a problem with the water pump in his drink system almost forced him to vomit in his car as he battled sickness on the way to a 10th place finish at the Australian Grand Prix.
Sainz started in ninth place and battled Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso on track early in the 58 lap race before his sole pit stop occurred in the preceding moments to the Safety Car forcing him down the field during the period.
The Spaniard then battled nausea after a technical issue with his drink bottle forced him to consume excess water in opening moments of the race.
“We had a problem with the water pump and during the first 10 or 15 laps it was squirting water on my face, so I was drinking too much water,” he said.
“When the Safety Car came out I had a lot of water in my stomach and was moving from side to side and I was feeling it a lot in the corners and I wasn’t feeling well.
“I managed to survive as best I could and I reached the finish.
“With the g-forces we have this year, having the stomach full of water, moving from side to side, I don’t know if it was a stomach cramp or what, but I wasn’t comfortable.”
Sainz had an early off at Turn 9, blaming the sickness and nausea for the error.
“If you are not comfortable, in the end you are not feeling good, you can’t push to the limit, and you are not 100 percent, and that’s what happened today,” he added.
“So I’m half happy to have been able to score a point because there was a moment in the race where I nearly started vomiting during the Safety Car, so I struggled.”
Sainz’s 10th place finish was the lowest of the six Renault-powered runners.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ended the grand prix in fourth place ahead of McLaren’s Alonso in fifth. Sainz’s team-mate Nico Hulkenberg was the best from the factory squad in seventh.