Max Verstappen hits out at media and reacts to Sergio Perez team order refusal as Red Bull defends driver


Max Verstappen says he and his Red Bull team need to be

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Max Verstappen says he and his Red Bull team need to be ‘open and communicate better’ after refusing to swap positions with Sergio Perez in Sao Paulo, and also condemns ‘disgusting’ comments and online abuse since the incident .

Max Verstappen says he and his Red Bull team need to be ‘open and communicate better’ after refusing to swap positions with Sergio Perez in Sao Paulo, and also condemns ‘disgusting’ comments and online abuse since the incident .

Max Verstappen hit the media at a heated press conference for the Abu Dhabi GP as the two-time Formula 1 world champion defended – but still refused to fully explain – his snub to team commands Sergio Perez of Red Bull in Brazil.

At the Sao Paulo GP last Sunday, Verstappen refused to give up a position to Perez, who is chasing second place in a drivers’ championship the Dutchman has dominated, despite instructions from Red Bull, later citing an incident between the two earlier in the season as his reason for doing so.

It is understood this is linked to Perez’s crash in qualifying for the Monaco GP in May – and although Verstappen has yet to confirm this – on Thursday before the final race of the 2022 season he said that the dispute was the result of miscommunication. and hit out at criticism of him. Verstappen called the media portrayal “disgusting” and claimed his family had also been “attacked” with “unacceptable” comments.

Verstappen, whose press conference followed a statement from Red Bull acknowledging his mistakes and also condemning the abuse, said of the incident: “I have already explained [my feelings] in Mexico and the team understood and accepted.

Sky Sports News' Craig Slater reports team-mates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have resolved their dispute over squad orders in Brazil

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Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater reports team-mates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have resolved their dispute over squad orders in Brazil

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater reports team-mates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have resolved their dispute over squad orders in Brazil

“We went to Brazil and I just thought we were going to race, try to get the best possible result. We had a bit of a misunderstanding on Saturday and Sunday, nothing had been told to me about a potential exchange.

“It was only on that last lap that it was said on the radio, and they should have already known my answer from what I said the week before. After that race we had a good chat , we put everything on the table and everything was resolved.

“Looking back, we should have had this conversation sooner because I’ve never been a bad teammate to anyone.

“I’ve always been very helpful and the team knows that. I’ve always put the team first because at the end of the day it’s teamwork. What we learned was is that we need to be more open, and we just have to communicate with each other.”

Max Verstappen refuses to let teammate Sergio Perez pass and is furious with Red Bull on team radio

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Max Verstappen refuses to let teammate Sergio Perez pass and is furious with Red Bull on team radio

Max Verstappen refuses to let teammate Sergio Perez pass and is furious with Red Bull on team radio

Verstappen then added: “After that race I looked very bad in the media but they didn’t have a clear image either… but to put me down immediately is pretty ridiculous to be honest. Because they don’t know how I work on the team and what the team likes about me, so everything I’ve read is pretty disgusting.

“And more they started attacking my family, threatening my sister, my mom, my girlfriend, my dad and for me it’s going way too far when you don’t have the facts about what’s going on For me, this has to stop.

“If you have a problem with me, that’s fine, but don’t take it out on my family because it’s just not acceptable.

“We’re moving on. Honestly, I have a great relationship with Checo. But I just don’t understand when people don’t have the full picture, to immediately start attacking me like that.

Karun Chandhok speaks out on the aftermath of Max Verstappen's refusal to let Sergio Perez pass in Sao Paulo

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Karun Chandhok speaks out on the aftermath of Max Verstappen’s refusal to let Sergio Perez pass in Sao Paulo

Karun Chandhok speaks out on the aftermath of Max Verstappen’s refusal to let Sergio Perez pass in Sao Paulo

“I hope one day they really understand what was going on because it’s just unacceptable behavior from so many people. Also people in this paddock, not just fans, a lot of people, what they wrote about me is just ridiculous.”

When asked why he didn’t want to set the record straight if he was upset by what was written in the media, Verstappen replied: “We keep that between the team and me.

“I’m just a little sick of all this bull **** going around all the time. In the end, I didn’t do anything wrong, people just misunderstood what was going on.”

Red Bull admits Brazil’s mistakes and condemns abuses

Moments before Verstappen spoke to the media, Red Bull released a statement in which they defended Verstappen.

“As a team we made mistakes in Brazil,” it read. “We had not considered the situation that unfolded on the last lap and we had not agreed on a strategy for such a scenario before the race.

“Unfortunately, Max was only informed at the last turn of the request to abandon position without all the necessary information being relayed. This put Max, who has always been an open and fair team player, in a compromising situation with little time to react. which was not our intention.

Sergio Perez says he is

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Sergio Perez says he’s ‘cool’ with Red Bull’s take on Max Verstappen not letting him swap positions in Brazil and is ready to move on as a team

Sergio Perez says he’s ‘cool’ with Red Bull’s take on Max Verstappen not letting him swap positions in Brazil and is ready to move on as a team

“After the race, Max spoke openly and honestly, allowing both drivers to resolve any outstanding issues or concerns. The team accepts Max’s reasoning, the conversation was a personal matter which will remain private between the team and no further comment will be made.”

He continued: “The events that followed from a social media perspective are completely unacceptable. The abusive behavior online towards Max, Checo, the team and their respective families is shocking and saddening and unfortunately it is something that we, as a sport, must address with depressing regularity.

“There’s no place for that in racing or in society as a whole and we have to do and be better. At the end of the day, it’s a sport, we’re here to race. Death threats, hate mail, vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable. We value inclusion and want a safe space for everyone to work and enjoy our sport. The abuse must stop.

Perez: We’re ready to move on

Perez, meanwhile, confirmed he cleared the air with Verstappen.

“We discussed everything internally,” he said. Sky sports. “There’s been a lot of speculation on social media, a lot of hate, it’s not a pretty sight.

Sergio Perez loses the back on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull

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Sergio Perez loses the back on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull

Sergio Perez loses the back on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull

“We’re just ready to move on as a team. What happened there, we discussed it and we’re ready to move on as a team.”

He also denied intentionally crashing in Monaco which is believed to be the source of Verstappen’s anger.

“It’s pretty clear what happened,” he said. “I just had a bad lap and chasing the clock in Monaco, everyone can make mistakes, and not just in Monaco, on any other track.”

Watch the final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday’s race is live at 1 p.m., with a heavy buildup starting at 11:30 a.m.

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