The Brazilian Grand Prix came to a dramatic end for the Red Bull team yesterday after Max Verstappen refused team orders to let teammate Sergio Perez pass him in order to help him with his battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for second place in the driver’s championship. Rumours have started circulating since the shocking moment that Verstappen has a definite reason to not give the position back.
The rumours are speculating that Perez’s crash during the Monaco GP qualifying session was a strategic move to make sure he would start on pole position. Perez did go on to win the Monaco Grand Prix with Verstappen finishing in P3.
When Verstappen was asked on his team radio why he did not give the place back to Perez at the Brazilian Grand Prix, he said:
“I told you already last time. Don’t ask that again to me — are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”
The rumours indicate the move from Verstappen was pay back for Perez’s move during the Monaco qualifying.
The Telegraph journalist, Erik van Haren, posted to Twitter claiming the rumour was started by ViaPlay’s Tom Coronel. He wrote:
“Pérez deliberately crashed in Monaco in qualifying and later admitted as much to Helmut Marko and Christian Horner. Max Verstappen has not forgotten that.”
Verstappen spoke about the moment in his post-race interview but did not give too much away. He explained:
“Well, I have my reasons for that. We just discussed that, and I think it was better that we finally sat together and spoke about it, and just moved forward from here.
“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. 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.”