Sergio Perez is Max Verstappen’s reliable assistant. In Brazil, however, the Formula 1 world champion refused his support. But why? There are a lot of challenges at Red Bull.
Sao Paulo – Not supporting Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix hurt Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
“It shows who he really is,” the Mexican said after the penultimate race of the season in Brazil, visibly upset. “Of course I’m disappointed after everything I’ve done for him, I’ve done a lot for him before, that’s no secret.” He had no explanation for his teammate’s refusal.
Verstappen has been the world champion for a long time, Perez is still fighting for the title of world vice-champion. In the closing stages of Sao Paulo, Verstappen overtook Perez to catch up with Fernando Alonso in the Alpine and Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari. However, Perez was informed from the Red Bull box that he would reclaim the seat from Verstappen if the plan did not work out.
Verstappen refuses standing order
On the final lap, sixth-placed Verstappen was told to let Perez, who was driving directly behind him, pass. “I told you last time you shouldn’t ask me to do it again, okay?” Verstappen snapped over the team radio in the final few metres. “Is it clear to us? I have given reasons and I stand by them.”
Team principal Christian Horner apologized to Perez. “The drivers discussed it behind closed doors. Our aim for Abu Dhabi is for Czecho to finish second. Max will do anything to achieve that,” Horner declared.
Verstappen also did not want to explain anything after the race. “Of course, I understand that “Cheko” is disappointed. But I also gave the reason why I didn’t because of something that happened in the past. That’s why we all sat down and talked about it,” Verstappen said. the last race of the season in a week in the desert. “We’re going to Abu Dhabi, they’re level on points and if he needs help there to get ahead of Charles, I’ll help him.” Leclair and Perez are in second place with 290 points each.
An incident in Monaco this year is believed to be the likely cause for Verstappen. Perez crashed just before the end of qualifying, denying Verstappen the chance for pole position. The race was then won by Perez.
Perez has been driving for Red Bull since last year. In the 2021 Formula 1 final in Abu Dhabi, he ensured that Verstappen became world champion with his bitter resistance against Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. “You are an absolute animal,” the Dutchman praised his selfless teammates at that time.