‘Not about saying sorry’: Max Verstappen refuses to apologise to Sergio Perez

Max Verstappen has opened up on his ongoing tensions with Sergio Perez following Daniel Ricciardo joining Red Bull.

Red Bull have endured a controversial second half to the season despite winning both championships comfortably.

Firstly, the team found themselves in a battle with the FIA over their breach of the 2021 cost cap, of which they were eventually found guilty and punished accordingly.

Then came the Brazilian Grand Prix, where despite having nothing to fight for and being outside the podium places, Max Verstappen explosively refused to follow team orders that told time to allow his teammate Sergio Perez to pass him.

Perez needed every point available to him as he battled with Charles Leclerc for second place in the drivers’ championship and his teammates refusal to help him out may have made the difference as the Ferrari driver narrowly beat him to the runner up spot in Abu Dhabi.

READ: Martin Brundle makes disappointing claim about Sebastian Vettel’s farewell

Verstappen has explained that he has his reasons for not following team orders, that will stay between him and the team and has said that it is no longer about apologising to Perez.

“It’s not about saying sorry,” claimed the Dutchman.

“It’s more about what happened this year. Something happened.

“We didn’t communicate well enough to each other and to the team. I gave my stance in Mexico about it.

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“We should have cleared it way sooner, then we wouldn’t have had that issue in Brazil. Like a relationship, communication is key. You always say communication is key in a relationship, and this is like a relationship.”

It is rumoured that Verstappen’s grievance towards Perez relates back to the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year, where a red flag caused by Perez saw the Mexican hold on to his pole position in Q3, while Verstappen was forced to settle for P4.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo: Returning to Red Bull ‘like going home to Mum and Dad’

Perez has been accused of intentionally causing the red flag, and the onboard footage of the incident does make it look as if the Mexican jabbed the throttle to spin the car and then made no effort to correct himself and carry on.

It would be foolish for Verstappen to cause such a scene in Brazil without more concrete evidence, but both drivers have refused to address the Monaco accusations when asked by the press.

With Daniel Ricciardo re-joining Red Bull as a third driver, Perez will feel that his days at the team are limited unless he can fix his relationship with the two-time world champion.