An irritable Max Verstappen refused to relinquish sixth place to Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in the closing laps of Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix with a raspy rebuke on the team radio. The world champion, who collided with his title rival, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton from 2021, on the seventh lap of a stormy race, told his race engineer not to sternly ask him to relinquish his position again. “I told you last time – you’re not asking me again, okay? Is that clear?
“I have given my reasons and I stand by them.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
The Dutchman, who took his second driver’s title at last month’s Japanese Grand Prix, was disappointed and frustrated with his fate in an incident-packed race that saw Red Bull miss out on a podium for the first time since the season opener in Bahrain. Grand prize.
“Max please let Checo through,” his engineer, the team seeking to help their Mexican driver in his bid to finish ahead of Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ championship, had asked him.
As a result, in a race won by George Russell, who claimed his maiden victory ahead of teammate and compatriot seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, Perez is tied with Ferrari’s Leclerc on 290 points, but the Monegasque is second as he has one. more wins this season.
Asked in an interview on Sky Sports F1 to explain his decision not to partner with the Red Bull team and help Perez, Verstappen said he had his own reasons.
“The team asked, yes,” he said. “But I had my reasons for that and we discussed it and talked about it – so we’ve drawn a line under that now and we’re going to move on from here.
“Sure, in Abu Dhabi I will help…”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner called the two drivers together for a team meeting after Sunday’s race.
“I won’t go into what was said behind closed doors, but they shook hands and we are now focused on the next race,” he said. “We work and we race as a team.
“We want Checo to finish second in the championship and he is now in direct battle with Charles.”
All involved in what turned out to be a sulky and ill-tempered conclusion to a disappointing weekend for Red Bull declined to comment over suggestions that Verstappen’s disapproval was payback for an incident between the two drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Perez lost his first claimed. win of the season.
Verstappen’s race got off to a bad start when he was forced to pit for a new front wing after his collision with Hamilton. He was subsequently given a five-second time penalty for the stewards’ incident.
“I thought going around the outside was a good move, but he wasn’t going to give me space and I wasn’t going to go back either,” he said.
“But at the end of the day it was too late and it cost me and it cost him a race win.”
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