Perez ‘last person’ on ‘God’s green earth’ to realise he’s Red Bull’s number 2

Sergio Pérez was asked to give up the win at the Spanish Grand Prix to let Max Verstappen claim victory.

The usually dull Spanish Grand Prix turned out to be an enthralling race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, however, Red Bull Racing may have shot themselves in the foot following their late race antics.

Max Verstappen claimed his fourth win of the season, continuing his run of winning every race he has finished so far in 2022.

Sergio Pérez rounded off a Red Bull 1-2, but in controversial fashion.

The race victory was thrown into the air when Charles Leclerc retired from the lead, the Ferrari driver was in control of the Grand Prix up until his sudden power unit issue.

This put George Russell into first, as Verstappen who was behind Leclerc went off at Turn 4, dropping the Dutchman to fourth behind Russell and his team-mate.

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With both Red Bull’s on different strategies, the team asked Pérez to let Verstappen past, which he did.

Later in the race, Pérez had much better pace than his team-mate and asked the team if he could be let by, the team said no.

To add to the Mexican’s frustration, when he found himself in the lead of the race towards the end, he was asked by the team again to let Verstappen overtake.

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There was a brief awkward silence on the team radio, before Pérez said “That’s very unfair, but okay.”

As seen in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season, Verstappen was quick on the radio to thank his team-mate for letting him past, an overtake which saw the 2021 World Champion win the race and take the championship lead.

Whilst Pérez appeared happy for the team, he let his disappointment be heard.

“I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later,” Checo said on the radio after the race.

Whilst Verstappen had much better tyres at the end of the race, Pérez was not once given the opportunity to battle his team-mate, with team-orders clearly already being put into use by Red Bull bosses.

The 32-year-old almost appeared unaware that he isn’t the number 1 driver in the team, with Ted Kravitz explaining in his Sky Sports F1 post-race notebook that the Mexican is the “last person” to understand his role in the team.

“Perez, they wouldn’t let him pass Max Verstappen to try and get George Russell, and Perez proved that he was able to get George Russell by in fact getting George Russell when Max Verstappen had his spin, so Perez was right on that one,” said Kravitz post-race.

“And then Perez not happy in the end about being treated essentially as a number two driver, but it’s the real world isn’t it Checo?

“Let’s face it, I think if you don’t realise that that’s your position in this team, then you’re probably the last person on God’s green earth who doesn’t realise that this is your position within the Red Bull team.

“And while it may say something Checo in your contract, then I think everyone else knows and [it] was clearly demonstrated today that there is only one number one in that Red Bull garage, and it’s not the one with one one [11] on his car, it’s the one with one on its car,” Kravitz concluded.

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With the Monaco Grand Prix taking place this weekend, questions will now be asked of what was said between Pérez and the team following the race, and if team-orders will be used again around the streets of Monte-Carlo.

The Mexican may even have doubts now about resigning for the team, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Does Pérez want to race for a team where he won’t be allowed to win over Verstappen?