Max Verstappen accused of violating Red Bull contract in unusual incident

Max Verstappen defied team orders at the Brazilian Grand Prix, after being requested to let Sergio Pérez past.

Max Verstappen enjoyed a sensational 2022 campaign, with the Dutchman having claimed a second consecutive World Championship with relative ease. However, ex-F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck has accused the Dutchman of having a “lack of discipline”.

Stuck’s comment is in reference to the Brazilian Grand Prix, which was the penultimate round of the most recent season.

At Interlagos, Verstappen had nothing to play for, given that he claimed the title at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier in the year.

Sergio Pérez on the other hand, was involved in a close battle with Charles Leclerc for second in the Drivers’ Championship, with Red Bull having never claimed a 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship before.

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With this in mind, on the final lap of the race, Verstappen was told by the Austrians to let Checo overtake him for P6, given that the team had allowed the Dutchman to pass the Mexican just a few laps prior to try and make some progress.

Verstappen defied the team and claimed P6, with Pérez taking seventh.

In the end, this result didn’t affect the championship, as Leclerc claimed second place in the season finale at Abu Dhabi.

Following the Brazilian GP, Verstappen and Pérez fired comments at one another, with Stuck believing that the 25-year-old’s actions were a breach of his Red Bull contract.

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“From my point of view, it had to do with a lack of discipline,” Stuck told Eurosport Germany.

“The first commandment in Formula 1 is to follow the team’s instructions unconditionally, because the drivers have signed a contract.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner did reveal that both drivers had a meeting with each other after the race to settle their differences, with the Brit hailing the Austrian duo as “pretty grown-up individuals”.

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“They’re both pretty grown-up individuals and they both have an open relationship with each other,” Horner said.

“So when if ever there is an issue, it gets discussed, it gets put on the table and you talk it through.

“I think communication is always the best way to deal with any issue and you know, Sergio is an experienced guy, he’s been around a long time. He’s a very rounded guy and Max [is] very much a straight shooter as well, and the two of them have always enjoyed a decent relationship and I just see that continuing.”