Red Bull driver Sergio Perez criticizes teammate Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez hits out at Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez was in aback after Max Verstappen defied team orders and refused to allow him through during the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, remarking over the team radio that it’shows who he truly is.’
The Mexican had allowed his Red Bull teammate to pass earlier in the race in an attempt to follow down Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, but it quickly became evident that the Dutchman lacked the necessary pace.
As a result, Red Bull told Verstappen to relinquish the position on the penultimate lap so Perez could accumulate more points in the race and finish second in the championship, but he refused.
Instead, Perez will start the final race in Abu Dhabi level on points with Leclerc, and he was enraged that Verstappen, who has already won his second title, did not assist him given how much help he has given his teammate over the past two seasons.
Directly after the race, Perez said sarcastically over the team radio: ‘Thank you for that guys, thank you. This shows who [Verstappen] really is.’
He had not cooled off by the time he did his media interviews, saying: ‘I was told to let him by, and that I was going to get the position back. I don’t know what the communications were with him on his side.
‘After all I’ve done for him, I’m disappointed, to be honest. I have no idea [why], I’m really surprised. I think if he has two championships, it’s thanks to me.’
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Meanwhile, Verstappen has refused to apologize and claims they have already cleared the air, telling Perez to focus on finishing second in Abu Dhabi next week.
‘I have my reasons for that. We just discussed that,’ Verstappen told Sky Sports after the race. ‘I think that it was good that we just sat together and talked about it, so we can move forward from here.
‘For sure, if we go to Abu Dhabi and he needs it – they are tied, you know, so it’s not the end of the world, it’s all about who finishes ahead anyway. If he needs the help, I’ll be there, but it’s good that we talk about it now and cleared everything that was there, on why we didn’t do it.’
Team principle Christian Horner also tried to draw a line under the incident, saying: ‘The drivers have obviously spoken about it – they’re very, very clear – and for us, Checo is now tied on points with Charles as Ferrari didn’t switch their cars around. We go into Abu Dhabi as a team to do the best we can for Checo to achieve second place, and Max will fully support that.’
He continued: ‘I’m not going to go into what we’ve discussed behind closed doors. The drivers have discussed it, shaken hands and we’re absolutely focussed on the next race.
‘We work as a team, race as a team. Our objective and priority is to see if we can get Checo to finish as runner-up in the championship. It’s something we’ve never achieved as a team before, and Max has given his commitment as well that we’ll be doing the best we can in Abu Dhabi to achieve that. It’s a straight fight between Checo and Charles, and if Max can help in any way, he will do.’