Max Verstappen sparks anger from rivals after Sergio Perez incident

Sergio Perez will need to win this weekend's 2023 British GP to maintain any hope of defeating Max Verstappen to the championship.

Sergio Perez’s defensive manoeuvres in the Austria sprint did not sit well with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, while earlier that day, the Dutchman and Lewis Hamilton had an incident that hampered the Brit.

The incidents during the sprint race and qualifying left lingering frustrations among the drivers.

During the Austria sprint, Perez managed to take the lead from Verstappen into Turn 1, but Verstappen felt that he was squeezed towards the grass on the run down to Turn 3. 

Immediately after the sprint race, Verstappen requested a conversation with Perez, which ultimately resolved any tensions. 

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However, an earlier incident during qualifying, involving him and his former title rival Hamilton, left Verstappen frustrated.

Hamilton’s best time in the first segment of qualifying, SQ1, was deleted due to track limits, leaving him with one final attempt to progress. 

During his preparation lap, Hamilton was informed that Verstappen, on a push lap, would be approaching. 

The team radio instructed Hamilton to go now. However, Verstappen claimed that Hamilton impeded him as they approached Turn 10.

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The duel between Verstappen and Hamilton continued as they started their next lap, with roles reversed. 

Verstappen, on a cool-down lap, overtook Hamilton as they approached Turn 1, compromising Hamilton’s chances of advancing to the next segment of qualifying, SQ2. 

Sky F1 pundit Anthony Davidson noted that Hamilton’s impeding was not as severe as Verstappen’s retaliation. 

However, Verstappen pointed the finger at Hamilton when reflecting on the incident after the Austria sprint race.

“He blocked me into the last corner, so I had to brake more, and I lost like three tenths,” Verstappen explained to reporters. 

“So that wasn’t ideal, and I think not correct. 

“There were still a few seconds left on the clock, so I didn’t know if my lap time was going to be safe, and I wanted to continue. 

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“But I ran out of time and space, with the two cars like that, which was a bit of a shame.”

Starting the sprint from P18, Hamilton showcased a strong recovery drive, eventually finishing in P10. 

He now looks to secure a stronger result on Sunday as he starts the Austrian Grand Prix from P5. Meanwhile, Verstappen will once again launch from pole position.