Christian Horner and his Red Bull team would have been hoping for a calm end to the season, having wrapped up both championships, and finally reaching the conclusion of their cost cap scandal with the FIA.
This is now not the case as the Milton Keynes outfit are faced with the tricky task of handling an internal feud between their two drivers.
Max Verstappen was asked to let Sergio Perez through on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix but refused, despite not having anything left to fight for this season while his teammate is locked in battle with Charles Leclerc for second place in the drivers’ championship.
This refusal to follow team orders left Perez outraged, who suggested after the race that he was a key component to Verstappen’s title winning campaigns and therefore the Dutchman should have repaid the favour.
It seems as if the incident would be dead and buried after the race, when team principal Christian Horner told reporters that both drivers had sat down after the race to discuss any difference in opinion and explain their reasoning for what happened.
Verstappen’s mother Sophie Kumpen added fuel to the fire, by suggesting on social media that Perez was unfaithful to his wife, which is a serious allegation to make in the wake of a F1 disagreement.
“And then in the evening cheating on his wife,” wrote Kumpen on Instagram, when commenting on a post about her son.
This comment is most likely referring to an scandal the Mexican was involved in after his victory in Monaco this year, the race in which Perez allegedly caused a red flag in Q3 on purpose, which is rumoured to be the reason why Verstappen refused to help him.
Perez was photographed partying after his win at the iconic circuit, dancing with a group of women on a yacht in a manner that could be interpreted badly by some.
The 32-year-old was forced to issue an apology to his wife after the footage emerged, but still remained adamant that he simply went to a bad party and did not cheat on his wife, claiming they are “more united than ever.”
Verstappen and Red Bull have confirmed that should Perez require help from the Dutchman in Abu Dhabi to beat Leclerc, as they go into the race level on points, then the two-time world champion will be on hand to help out regardless of what unfolded in Sao Paulo.