Red Bull would have rounded the perfect season should Sergio Perez have been able to complete a one-two in the drivers’ championship, after the team wrapped up both titles earlier in the season.
Unfortunately for the energy drink giants it was not to be, as Charles Leclerc finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of the Mexican, and therefore beating him to the runner up spot behind Max Verstappen.
It could all have been different for Perez however, after his teammate had the chance to let him overtake in Brazil, which would have seen the 32-year-old go to Abu Dhabi ahead of Leclerc instead of level.
Verstappen refused to follow the team orders, and once again had to chance to help out in Abu Dhabi, where he could have dropped back to hold up Leclerc and Perez closed him down in the latter stages of the race, which one again he decided against.
“No, there was not, but also that is quite a tricky call to make,” said the Dutchman when asked if the team ever made the call to drop him back into Leclerc.
“You also don’t want to end up… of course, you can possibly block but is that fair racing?” he said, despite the fact Perez used the same tactic to help him win his 2021 crown in Abu Dhabi.
“I think not the nicest way going out of the season, like that. And it looked like Checo was catching him enough to try and actually get a move but then he lost quite a bit of time with that bit of a fuss between… was it Pierre [Gasly] and Alex [Albon]?
“I was watching the screen. But yeah, unfortunate.”
After the drama in Brazil, Perez once again took to the team radio to express his frustration at him teammate, as he initially wanted Verstappen to allow him to pass after the first round of pit stops for those on at two stop strategy.
“Yeah I’m being held up by Max,” he said to his race engineer on lap 29, as he felt he had the pace advantage over the Dutchman.
Team principal Christian Horner has told reporters that any feud between the two drivers has now been settled, after the pair sat down to discuss their disagreement following the race at Interlagos.