Perez ‘knows his place’ within Red Bull after Verstappen team orders

Sergio Perez was told to relinquish the lead to Max Verstappen late on in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Former Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde has praised Sergio Perez for not going public with his grievances of the Spanish Grand Prix result.

Perez was twice asked to allow Max Verstappen to pass him in Spain after a mistake from the Dutchman put him out of position early on.

Perez cleared George Russell on track, before the 24-year-old cleared the Mercedes driver as a result of his three-stop strategy.

READ: Max Verstappen pleased to win after ‘not nice’ incident

Verstappen was then on much fresher tyres than Perez towards the end of the race, and the 32-year-old was asked not to fight him if he got close enough.

Perez told his team that the request was “very unfair,” before asking to “speak later” regarding the matter.

Team principal Christian Horner confirmed after proceedings that his driver understood upon seeing the full picture why he was asked to give up the lead, and the Mexican said after the race that he planned to “discuss” internally the events that led to his second-placed finish to “understand what went on.”

Van der Garde is impressed at Perez’s maturity following the incident, indicating that the Mexican is aware that this is how things will be alongside Verstappen.

“It’s good that he discusses everything internally,” he told Viaplay.

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“If you’re Perez, you just want to sign and he’s negotiating now. You can see that he is the number one there but he also just wasn’t fast enough.

“He knows his place within the team.”

Christijan Albers, who scored points at the 2005 US Grand Prix for Minardi, emphasises that Verstappen is the lead driver at Red Bull, and labels it “nonsense” that Perez was unhappy at being told to move over.

“He did a good race but he doesn’t have Max’s speed,” he added.

“As a team you have to make a choice and not lose too much time. Max is now the leader of the world championship, which is what you want as a team.

“I think it’s nonsense that Perez doesn’t think it’s fair.”

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko sympathises with the 32-year-old, but states that, given the freshness of Verstappen’s tyres, it made little sense to let his drivers fight.

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“It was clear that Checo couldn’t have finished with his set of tyres and with that it was very clear that Max was the faster one,” he explained.

“But I can understand that he was upset – he saw victory in front of his eyes. Sergio didn’t understand that at the time but it was the best and safest option for us to get that one-two.

“If he asks me, I’ll explain to him in detail that there was no other solution but of course it’s annoying in the heat of the moment.

“It’s totally understandable that he doesn’t say right away ‘I’ll wave my team-mates past’. That way, he wouldn’t be a real racing driver.”

Red Bull secured their second one-two finish of the season to move ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Standings after the Scuderia suffered from a costly error by Carlos Sainz and a reliability failure for Charles Leclerc.