Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen refuses order to let Perez past · RaceFans

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2022

Red Bull apologised to Sergio Perez after Max Verstappen refused to obey an order to let his team mate overtake him at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen moved past Perez following a Safety Car period towards the end of the race. The pair were chasing Fernando Alonso’s Alpine at the time.

As the final lap began, Verstappen hadn’t been able to catch and pass Alonso. His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase told him he should let Perez past if he didn’t pass Alonso at the final corner.

As Verstappen approached the line without backing off, Lambiase repeatedly told him to let Perez by. Verstappen did not, and Lambiase asked “what happened?” after he took the chequered flag in sixth place ahead of Perez.

“I told you already last time guys, don’t ask that again to me, okay,” said Verstappen. “Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner came on Perez’s radio to apologise for the fact he hadn’t been given his position back. “It shows who he really is,” Perez said.

Gallery: 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures

After the race Perez said he had “no idea” why Verstappen had refused to let him past. “I’m really surprised.”

“I’ve nothing to say, really, I mean, after all I’ve done for him it’s a bit disappointing to be honest,” Perez added. “I was told to let him by that I was going to get back the position. I don’t know what was the communication with him on his side.”

Verstappen refused to explain why he had declined to let Perez pass him. “I have my reasons for that,” he said. “We just discussed that and I think it was good that we finally just sat together and talked about it and basically just move forward from here.”

He indicated he might be willing to help Perez secure second place in the drivers championship in next weekend’s season finale. “For sure if we go to Abu Dhabi and he needs the points, because they’re tied, it’s not the end of the world, it’s all about who finishes ahead anyway,” he said. “If he needs the help, I’ll be there.

“But it’s good that we talked about it now and basically cleared everything that was there why I didn’t do it.”

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Verstappen’s radio messages

Verstappen How many laps?
Lambiase This is the final lap, Max.
Lambiase Max, if we don’t pass Fernando on the exit of 12, can we let Checo through, please. Let Checo back through.
Lambiase Don’t…

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