Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance
Max Verstappen will be out for revenge in Monaco after being left “irritated” by Sergio Perez last season. The two Red Bull stars clashed in the Principality, sparking a feud which would have major ramifications later in the season.
Tensions boiled over in Saturday’s qualifying session after Sergio Perez crashed on the exit of Portier after going faster than his team-mate.
The red flags were immediately shown and ensured Verstappen started the race down in P4. After the session, Verstappen appeared to accuse Perez of intentionally losing control of his car to secure a better position.
He explained: “It is irritating and a pity of course that the one who put it in the wall was my team-mate. But in the end, you don’t get a penalty for that. So if you know you have a good first run, then you can think: ‘ah well, you know what, I’ll park it and tactically send it into the wall.’ You could do that.”
The issue was compounded a day later when Perez timed his strategy to a tee to win the race with Verstappen third.
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Verstappen’s dad was annoyed at the outcome, blasting Red Bull bosses for not favouring the Dutchman. He criticised the constructor for exerting “little influence” to help Verstappen reach the front of the field.
The former Benetton star said: “Max was not helped by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo’s favour. That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader.”
But, the comments were not well received with Helmut Marko stressing the 51-year-old “creates resentment”. Team boss Christian Horner even claimed the constructor was not “Max Verstappen Racing”.
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However, the incident resurfaced towards the end of the season after Verstappen ignored team orders in Sao Paulo. After refusing to let Perez through to secure vital championship points, Verstappen claimed he “had reasons” for the snub.
This was later determined to be from an incident that happened earlier in the season with many suggesting he was referring to the incident in Monaco. Although Verstappen never confirmed the truth of the matter, he refused to decline the rumours when pressed by reporters.
But the incident split the two drivers with Perez even stressing it showed who Verstappen “really is”. He added: “I have nothing to say, really. After all I’ve done for him, it’s disappointing. I have no idea. I’m really surprised.”
And now Verstappen is looking for revenge on the streets of Monaco, where Perez will fancy himself having established himself as one of the best street circuit drivers in F1.
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