Helmut Marko explains why Max Verstappen didn’t give Sergio Perez position

Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez were involved in two frosty and public encounters during the 2022 Brazilian GP.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is presumably glad that there is only the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix left in 2022, following not one but two questionable incidents at the Brazilian Grand Prix between Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez.

After a season of pure domination, it was unbelievable to see so much drama unfold between the two drivers, with any fragment of a relationship between them having been blown to smithereens.

It all started with Saturday’s sprint race at Interlagos, where Pérez had to recover from starting ninth, whereas Verstappen was second.

As the sprint approached its climax, the two Red Bull stars found themselves in fourth and fifth, as a result of Verstappen having front-wing damage as a result of contact with Carlos Sainz.

READ: Max Verstappen makes worrying ‘struggling’ claim about Red Bull

Given that points are on offer to the top eight in the sprint races, some questioned if Verstappen and Pérez would switch places, given that the Mexican is fighting for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

Other than race wins, Verstappen has nothing to play for, with the Dutchman having sealed the title at Suzuka.

No such thing happened, with Verstappen claiming fourth and Pérez fifth, with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko revealing after the sprint that had the 32-year-old been closer to the double World Champion then a switch might have happened.

The huge issue for Red Bull, though, came at the end of the frantic race on Sunday, where Pérez let Verstappen past in the closing laps to try and overtake Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc for fourth and fifth.

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Verstappen was told to return the spot to his team-mate should he fail to overtake either driver; however, he refused to do so.

Verstappen was told multiple times to give the place back but failed to even respond on the team radio to his race engineer.

As they crossed the line, Pérez was furious with Verstappen, whilst the Dutchman insisted that the team never tell him to give a place back ever again.

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It has put a massive spanner in the works for Pérez, who now goes into the season finale level on points with Leclerc.

Horner immediately apologised to the Mexican, with Checo saying that Verstappen has shown “who he really is”.

With just a few days until the finale, Red Bull’s hierarchy have a huge issue to now solve; the problem is, though, Verstappen appears to be the head of the Austrians table.