Max Verstappen has received an incredible amount of backlash after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday when he refused team orders to let his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, past to help him in his battle for second in the driver’s championship.
There have been many theories circulating that Verstappen’s reason for not doing this is because Perez is rumoured to have orchestrated a crash during the Monaco GP qualifying session which led to him getting P3 and going on to win the race.
Matt Gallagher of WTF1 wrote on Twitter:
“Sergio Perez helped Max Verstappen win the world title last year by defending like a LION during the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.
“Verstappen refused to give up 6th place to Perez when both titles are wrapped up.
“Make it make sense?????”
Sergio Perez helped Max Verstappen win the world title last year by defending like a LION during the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP
Verstappen refused to give up 6th place to Perez when both titles are wrapped up
Make it make sense?????
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) November 13, 2022
Another Twitter user wrote:
“There’s a reason why F1 is so toxic, and it’s Max Verstappen. His actions rub off on his fans and shows that Max is terrible for the toxicity levels in the sport. His attitude absolutely stinks.”
There’s a reason why F1 is so toxic, and it’s Max Verstappen. His actions rub off on his fans and shows that Max is terrible for the toxicity levels in the sport. His attitude absolutely stinks. #F1 #BrazilGP
— Sam James 💙💛 (@SJWJ_15) November 13, 2022
Verstappen isn’t the only one receiving backlash from fans after his mother took the opportunity to have a dig at Perez. In a now deleted comment, Verstappen’s mother Sophie Kumpen, referred to the Monaco GP when she wrote the following about Perez:
“And then in the evening cheat on his wife.”
she deleted it already but i think shes responding to this pic.twitter.com/sxq4aVz69a
— m✰ 🏎 💨 (@martinalee_) November 14, 2022
After fans seeing Kumpen join in with the drama, many are looking to Verstappen’s parents as the reasoning behind his immense hunger for victory. Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko, spoke out about Verstappen’s relationship with his father in an interview with Car And Driver. From the quote, we can recognize that his father was hard on him during training, and this callousness may have rubbed off onto the Red Bull driver. He said:
“Having Max as a teammate is not good for your career. Max is very special. He was trained very harshly by his father but with great success.
“For example, when he was less than 10 years old, they were in Italy, and as soon as it started to rain, all the other drivers went to the cafeteria.
“Max had to stay outside, sometimes with frozen fingers. That’s why he’s so good in the rain. He can adapt immediately.”
After the teams issues this weekend, both drivers and management need to look ahead to Abu Dhabi as a saving grace to Perez’s second place finish this year. Verstappen has confirmed that he will do his best to help his teammate, so we’ll see if this pans out.
Fans on Twitter are also putting the blame on team principal, Christian Horner, who they deem to have cultivated this apparent selfishness.
Christian Horner realising he helped create this version of Max Verstappen: pic.twitter.com/LbDaucwCvD
— Brad Philpot 🏎🏁 (@BradleyPhilpot) November 13, 2022
With the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bringing the season to a close this weekend, the team will need to have sorted things out by then. Perez and driver’s championship rival, Charles Leclerc, are heading into the weekend on exactly the same points so it will be right down to the wire to see who will be coming second in the championship.