Red Bull look set to end 2022 on a sour note despite all their success this season, after cracks have begun to appear in the team following the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen was asked to allow his teammate Sergio Perez to pass him on the final lap of the race, to help the Mexican pick up crucial extra points in his battle for second place in the championship with Charles Leclerc.
The two-time world champion refused, much to the anger of Perez who claimed after the race that the incident “shows who he really is,” as well as suggesting that Verstappen owes his two titles to him after how much he has played the team game to help him.
The Dutchman has faced a lot of backlash from the media, with team principal Christian Horner even apologising to Perez on the team radio for his teammate’s refusal to follow team orders.
This tainting of Verstappen’s reputation has not prevented him from being named GQ Magazine’s ‘Athlete of the Year’ for 2022, which is a very prestigious award to receive when considering the plethora of world class sportsmen and women that are currently active in the world.
Verstappen definitely deserves this award on sporting merit, with the Dutchman being head and shoulders above every other Formula 1 driver in 2022, wrapping up the drivers’ championship as early as the Japanese Grand Prix, and breaking Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher’s record for most wins in a season.
In his interview with GQ the 25-year-old revealed that he will be featuring in this year’s ‘Drive to Survive’ on Netflix, after refusing to partake in 2021 due to the way the show is dramatized and taken out of context by the producers.
“It’s just good to understand what we both want from each other right? And I think the interview we did was good, so I just wanted to keep it real, no fake stuff,” he explained.
“No overhyped things because that’s not how I am. I just want it to be to the point and my opinion and how I see things. Of course, we still need to see the end product, but it all sounds good. I know it’s important for Formula 1. So we came to an agreement, and I’m very happy about that.”
Verstappen is currently seeing his name being dragged through the mud as social media slate the driver for his short-sighted decision to refuse to help Perez, with many fans online suggesting that it shows a selfish and self-centred side to the Dutchman that was previously unseen.