Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has slammed teammate and 2022 Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen after he refused a team instruction to let the Mexican past him in the final lap of the Sao Paolo Grand Prix.
By India Today Web Desk: Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has slammed teammate and 2022 Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen after he refused a team instruction to let the Mexican past him in the final lap of the Sao Paolo Grand Prix.
With Perez struggling on medium tyres, the Red Bull team had asked Vertsappen to attack Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc in a bid to try and overtake the Ferrari driver, who is competing with Perez for the second spot in the driver’s championship.
When Verstappen was asked to do the needed, he refused and said he gave his reasons for not doing so, telling the team to stop asking him again and again.
“I told you already last summer. You guys don’t ask that again to me, ok? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it,” said Verstappen.
To this, Perez sarcastically thanked the Red Bull team, before saying this shows who Verstappen really is.
“Yeah, thank you for that, guys. Yeah, this shows who he really is,” said Perez.
Perez ended up finishing the race behind Verstappen in seventh place, behind Leclerc, who finished in fourth place and is now level on points with the Mexican with just one race to go in the season.
Speaking after the race, Perez said he was really disappointed by Verstappen’s decision after all he has done for him.
“I have no idea [what his reasons are]. Maybe you should ask him about it. I’ve nothing to say really. After all I have done for him, it is a bit disappointing to be honest. I have no idea. I am really surprised,” said Perez.
Verstappen defended his call after the race, saying he gave his reasons and will try to help Perez in the next race.
“I think it’s more important as a team now that we stand together, all together and importantly we move forward. We go to Abu Dhabi. Of course, we want to win the race but if there’s a chance to help Checo I will. That’s why it was important we had this meeting now. I understand why he is disappointed, but they also have to understand why I did it and I gave them the reasons why,” said Verstappen.
Perez played a key role in helping Verstappen win in Abu Dhabi last year after holding Lewis Hamilton up in the latter stages of the race.