An irritable Max Verstappen refused
to give up sixth place to Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez on the final laps of
Sunday's Sao Paulo Grand Prix with a rasping rebuke on team radio. The world
champion, who collided with his 2021 title rival seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton
on lap seven of a stormy race, told his race engineer not to ask him to concede
position again in stern fashion. "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."
The Dutchman, who won his second drivers' title at last
month's Japanese Grand Prix, was frustrated and frustrated over his future in
the incident-filled race which saw Red Bull lose the 'stage for the first time
since the start of the season. Bahrain. Great prize.
"Max let Checo through, please," his engineer had
asked him, the team seeking to assist their Mexican driver in his bid to finish
ahead of Charles Leclerc in the drivers' championship.
As a result, in the race won by George Russell, who took his
maiden victory ahead of his teammate and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton,
Perez and Ferrari's Leclerc had 290 points, but the Monegasque was second as he
has one. Another win this season.
Asked in an interview with Sky Sports F1 to explain his
decision not to support the Red Bull team and help Perez, Verstappen said he
"The team asked, yes," he said. "But, I had
my reasons for that and we have discussed it and talked about it - so we have
drawn a line under that now and we move on from here.
"For sure, in Abu Dhabi, I will help..."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner invited both
drivers to a team meeting after Sunday's race.
"I am not
going into what was said behind closed doors, but they have shaken hands and we
are now focussed on the next race," he said. "We work and we race as
"We want Checo
to finish second in the championship and he is now in a straight fight with
All involved in what proved to be a sulky and ill-tempered conclusion to
a disappointing weekend for Red Bull declined to comment on suggestions that
Verstappen's snub was pay-back for an incident between the two drivers at the
Monaco Grand Prix where Perez claimed his first win of the season.
Verstappen's race began badly when he was
forced to pit for a new front wing following his clash with Hamilton. He was
then given a five-seconds penalty for the incident by the stewards.
"I thought it
was a good move to try going round the outside, but he had no intention to give
me the space and I had no intention to back off," he said.
"But at the
end of the day, it was too late and it cost me and it cost him a race