Christian Horner claims Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were taught a lesson

Max Verstappen defied team orders on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, by refusing to give Sergio Pérez P6.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is certain that Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez will overcome their differences and “work as a team”, with the Brit confident that the pair’s Interlagos incident won’t carry over into 2023.

The Brazilian Grand Prix certainly wasn’t a race to remember for the Austrians, as they slumped towards the bottom of the top 10.

Verstappen thought valiantly to recover from last, after requiring a new front-wing following a collision with Lewis Hamilton early in the race.

Pérez was having a good race until his strategy let him down, with the Mexican having been a sitting duck in the closing stages of the race due to being on a harder compound of tyre compared to those around him.

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With that in mind, Verstappen was allowed to overtake Checo late on in the race, to see if he could overtake either Fernando Alonso or Charles Leclerc ahead.

The Dutchman was told, though, that if he failed to overtake either driver, then he’d need to return sixth place to his team-mate on the final lap.

As the final lap of the penultimate race of the season began, Verstappen was given the message to let Checo past; however, despite being prompted to do so during the lap, the double World Champion defied the team’s instructions.

It resulted in some public outbursts between the two after the race, with Pérez having been understandably fuming with the Dutchman.

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Verstappen wasn’t bothered by anything Pérez said about him, after revealing that he had his “reasons” for defying the team.

Reportedly, Verstappen refused to give the place up due to believing that Pérez crashed on purpose during Q3 at Monaco, to stop the Dutchman claiming pole.

Despite their apparent issues, though, Horner is certain that Brazil was just a “blip” and that “lessons were learned”.

“Absolutely! What we had in Brazil was a blip,” Horner told GPFans, when asked if he believes his drivers will be unified in 2023.

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“The drivers, in a very mature and open manner, discussed it, we discussed it as a team and the two are working as team members and will continue.

“We need to work as a team to beat our opponents. They have been the most successful pairing we have ever had and I think they will do a great job for us.

“Lessons were learned basically and you are always learning in life and every grand prix that you do.”