Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Perez fumes as Verstappen defies Red Bull team orders: "It shows who he really is"

Red Bull faces a team orders row between its Formula 1 drivers after Max Verstappen defied a call to allow Sergio Perez pass on the final lap in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen overtook Perez for sixth place following the restart after a late safety car period, and was encouraged to go and overtake Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc ahead to take points off them.

Perez was informed by his engineer, Hugh Bird, that if Verstappen could not overtake Alonso in the closing stages, he would give him the position back to help the Mexican in his push for second place in the drivers’ standings.

Verstappen was instructed on multiple occasions by his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, on the final lap to allow Perez to overtake him.

But Verstappen crossed the line 0.4 seconds behind Alonso and four seconds up the road from Perez, who was left to finish seventh.

Lambiase asked Verstappen after the chequered flag: “Max, what happened?”

The two-time world champion replied: “I told you already last time, you guys don't ask that again to me, OK? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”

With Leclerc finishing fourth for Ferrari, he now enters the Abu Dhabi season finale level on points with Perez in the drivers’ championship in the fight for second place.

Upon crossing the line seventh behind Verstappen, Perez said on the radio: “It shows who he really is.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, the remainder of the field away for the start

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, the remainder of the field away for the start

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Team principal Christian Horner could be heard apologising to Perez on the radio as well.

It is thought that some tension dates back to qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, where a crash for Perez on his final lap in Q3 denied Verstappen a chance to beat Charles Leclerc to pole. Perez went on to win the race for Red Bull, while Verstappen could only finish third.

Verstappen and Perez’s radio exchanges - in full

VERSTAPPEN

Lambiase: "Max, let Checo through please.

Lambiase: "Max, what happened?"

Verstappen: "I told you already last time, you guys don't ask that again to me, OK? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it."

PEREZ

Perez: “Thank you for that guys. Thank you.”

Horner: “I’m sorry about that Checo."

Bird: “We’ll debrief everything afterwards.”

Perez: “It shows who he really is.”

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F1 race results: George Russell wins Brazilian GP in Mercedes 1-2
Next article Russell left "speechless" by maiden F1 win in Brazilian GP

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe