Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after...

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after he won the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir circuit, Sunday, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) Credit: AP/Frank Augstein

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Two-time defending Formula One champion Max Verstappen's arrival at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been delayed because of a stomach bug.

The Red Bull driver posted on Twitter on Thursday that illness forced him to miss his initial flight and meant he could not do his scheduled media duties. The 25-year-old Dutchman was expected to arrive on Thursday evening in time for the practice sessions on Friday.

“Feeling fine again, after not being fit for a few days because of a stomach bug,” Verstappen wrote. “Therefore, I unfortunately had to postpone my flight for a day, so I won’t be on the track until Friday. See you in Jeddah!”

Red Bull said on Twitter that it had clearance from governing body FIA for him to skip his media duties.

Verstappen dominated last year's F1 championship with a record 15 wins.

He won this year's season-opening race in Bahrain from pole position, leading a Red Bull 1-2 ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and taking his tally to 36 victories.

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