Max Verstappen demands Red Bull investigation

An intense on-track battle and near miss sparked tensions between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Austria.

Max Verstappen wasted no time in calling for talks after a thrilling victory in the Austrian Grand Prix sprint on Saturday. 

The race was marked by a near miss between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez, leading to an intense on-track battle that had both drivers venting their frustrations over the team radio. 

Despite the incident, the Red Bull duo went on to dominate the contest, securing a one-two finish.

At the start of the race, Perez gained an early advantage with better traction off the line, temporarily surpassing Verstappen and taking the lead. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, Verstappen felt that he was forced wide on the exit of Turn 1, intensifying the wheel-to-wheel tussle between the teammates. 

Determined to reclaim the top spot, Verstappen made a daring move on the inside of Turn 2 and successfully regained the lead. 

As the rest of the drivers struggled with the damp conditions, the reigning double world champion maintained his position for the remaining 24 laps.

Following the race, Verstappen expressed his dissatisfaction with the incident, stating, “Just the exit of Turn 1… that was not really nice. 

Article continues below

“It could have been a really big shunt, so we need to have a chat about that.” 

Verstappen promptly engaged in a discussion with Perez, caught on camera, to address what transpired during the opening exchanges at the Red Bull Ring.

Despite the tensions, Red Bull Racing achieved an ideal outcome, with Perez securing second place to complete another impressive one-two finish. 

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari claimed the final spot on the podium, while Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin secured fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Noteworthy performances were delivered by Nico Hulkenberg, who started in fourth and finished in sixth place, and George Russell, who skilfully timed his switch to slick tires, enabling him to surge through the field and secure eighth place, narrowly behind Esteban Ocon.

READ: Formula 1 sent Max Verstappen warning

Reflecting on the Verstappen-Perez battle, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner shared his perspective, stating, “They’ve spoken about it. I think Checo had Max unsighted there on the right-hand side, so thankfully they didn’t collect each other, and a one-two finish is a great result for the team. 

“The rules are very fair: race hard but give each other space. 

“[Turn] one and [turn] three, they did that, it was just the bit in the middle where it got a bit tasty, but I think maybe Checo didn’t see Max.”