Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez ditch FIA awards ceremony

The FIA’s prize giving gala saw Red Bull awarded the constructors’ championship trophy for the first time since 2013.

The FIA’s prize giving gala was home to many memorable moments, with drivers picking up championship trophies from their respective series alongside being honoured with separate awards. 

Red Bull completed the F1 double in 2022, with Max Verstappen winning the drivers’ championship at the Japanese Grand Prix, before the team secured their first constructors’ title since 2013 in Austin.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner shared an awkward moment on stage when the constructors’ trophy was being handed out, as the 61-year-old bizarrely decided it would be the appropriate time to clarify the regulations that played a part in a controversial race earlier this year in Suzuka.

Obviously hunting for a bit of time away from the awkwardness and the cameras, Horner was filmed with his drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez backstage keeping tabs on the unfolding events at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

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The trio were caught watching the quarter-final penalty shoot-out between Brazil and Croatia on a smartphone, presumably while they were supposed to be doing something else related to the evening’s proceedings.

It was the Croatians that were celebrating at the end of the shoot-out, as goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic led his nation to a second successive penalty shoot-out victory, knocking out many people’s World Cup favourites Brazil.

While none of the Red Bull team have ties to either nation, the chance to watch a small country like Croatia get to their second successive World Cup semi-final, at the expense of Neymar Jr and Brazil, was obviously one that Horner, Verstappen and Perez could not turn down, presentation evening or not.

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The video which emerged on Instagram may come as a positive sign for Red Bull fans, as this is the first time the trio have been seen smiling together since the team order controversy at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Rumours have suggested that Verstappen’s relationship with Perez is at breaking point, but if this footage is anything to go by, the pair seem to have buried the hatchet following their explosive end to the 2022 season.

With Daniel Ricciardo back at Red Bull as a third driver, Perez will be hoping to keep in Red Bull’s good book, as Ricciardo will be itching to take his place should the team make a change.