MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A water bottle malfunction left Renault’s Spanish Formula One driver Carlos Sainz feeling sick to the stomach at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sainz finished 10th in the season-opener in Melbourne, after starting ninth, and said the problem had made it a difficult afternoon.
“I had the drinks bottle pumping water to my mouth since lap one, and unconsciously I was drinking and drinking and drinking,” he told Sky Sports television.
“I just got full of water in my stomach and I wasn’t feeling good... at some point during the safety car (period) I nearly had to vomit.
“So from there on it was just about making it to the finish,” added Sainz, whose German team mate Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh to get Renault off to a double points start.
Nico Rosberg, the retired 2016 world champion who was in Melbourne as a television pundit, sympathized with the Spaniard from experience.
“Imagine all the things that can go wrong, isn’t that unbelievable? It’s a dribbling drinks tube that ruins your entire race,” the former Williams and Mercedes driver told Sky.
“I had the worst one, actually. There’s so many buttons on the steering wheel, I hit the wrong one. I wanted to hit something else and I hit the drinks button —in Monaco, in the tunnel,” added the German.
“At the time, you had to push the tube into your mouth to drink. It wasn’t in and it (the water) went everywhere into the visor, at 320kph through the Monaco tunnel. I couldn’t see where I was going any more. That was a shocker.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar