Sergio Perez’s ‘fishy’ tactic analysed as Verstappen anger explained

Chris Evans says Max Verstappen needs to 'be a bit nicer'

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The reasons behind Max Verstappen’s controversial Red Bull team orders snub have been analysed after the world champion refused to allow Sergio Perez through at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Verstappen shocked many, including his own team, by refusing to let Perez to pass in the Mexican’s battle for P2 in the Drivers’ standings with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen’s second world title is already wrapped up, and the Dutchman has been maligned over his selfishness in not giving up sixth place in Brazil, a position rendered completely futile given his status as reigning champion in the penultimate race of the season. 

Had Verstappen let Perez through, the Mexican would have taken a slender but possibly crucial two-point lead into the final race of the season. But after Verstappen’s controversial decision, Perez is now level on points with the Ferrari driver heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi. 

Verstappen ignored repeated team messages as he maintained radio silence despite persistent requests to slow down. When questioned by his team on his refusal, he gave an explosive response: “I told you already last time – you guys don’t ask that again to me, ok? Are we clear about that?”

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The debacle has put the harmony of the Red Bull team in serious jeopardy, with Perez visibly baffled by Verstappen’s choice after his work in helping him claim his two world titles. While Verstappen has not explicitly given the reason behind his team order snub, many believe his angst stems from an incident at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Perez spun out in the third qualifying session in Monaco, causing a red flag and preventing Verstappen and his rivals from bettering their times. The Mexican started third on the grid ahead of Verstappen in fourth, and ultimately claimed race victory on Sunday. 

And former F1 driver turned analyst Jolyon Palmer has delved deeper into the incident which appears to explain Verstappen’s frustration, as Perez’s intent is described as ‘fishy’ due to his lack of effort in preventing the red flag.

“Actually, looking at it with more detail, I can see why it looks a little bit fishy for Verstappen,” Palmer told F1 TV. “Checo comes in and there’s a big spike of throttle as he just plants the gas hard. But then also, interestingly, once he loses control of the car, there is no attempt to have a big opposite lock and try and save control.

“If you look at the steering wheel, he straightens it up but he never goes more than that, and he’s almost resigned straight away to his fate. The natural instinct of the driver is to just plant on the opposite lock and try and save the car. Not only does he jump on the gas, which seems to instigate the spin, he also is fairly resigned to his fate as soon as he does that.”

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