Revealed: Full extent of Max Verstappen ignoring team orders

Max Verstappen refused to allow Sergio Perez to pass him as a result of a previous grievance.

Red Bull would have liked to have focused all their attention on planning for 2023, with the team having to battle with a ten per cent reduction in wind tunnel time as punishment for their cost cap breach, but now find themselves having to deal with a feud between their drivers.

Sergio Perez is outraged at his teammate Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s refusal to help him in his battle with Charles Leclerc for the runner up spot in the drivers’ championship when asked to do so in Brazil.

Verstappen was told over the team radio to allow the Mexican through, as the extra two points Perez would have gained would have put him ahead of Leclerc going into the final race of the season, and with both drivers outside the podium places it seemed like a reasonable request.

The 25-year-old refused, reportedly holding a grudge following an incident earlier this year, where Perez is alleged to have caused a red flag on purpose in Monaco qualifying to secure pole position, which resigned Verstappen to P4 on the starting grid.

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The TV broadcast of the race showed the radio messages surrounding the event with a slight delay, with fans being shown most of the dialogue upon the completion of the race, but transcripts have now confirmed that this was no knee-jerk decision by Verstappen.

The Dutchman was told about the team’s decision to let Perez past as the final lap began, giving the two-time world champion a whole lap, which included multiple reminders, to make his choice, eventually electing to ignore the request from his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

“This is the final lap, Max. Max, if we don’t pass Fernando [Alonso] on the exit of [Turn] 12 can we let Checo through, please, let Checo back through,” said Lambiase as lap 71 of 71 began.

“Don’t worry about the DRS, Max. Let Checo through. Max, let’s let Checo through please,” he was then reminded after he failed to make a move on Fernando Alonso ad approached the checkered flag.

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There was no mix up in communication as this proved that Verstappen was given plenty of time to attempt an overtake on Alonso, and let Perez back through, as it was not a last minute call by the team.

“Okay if Max does not pass Fernando, he’ll let you through at the exit of Turn 12,” Perez was told by his race engineer Hugh Bird, who eventually apologised to the 32-year-old along with Christian Horner after it became apparent that Verstappen did not follow the orders.

Verstappen has told reporters that while he had his reasons, he will help out Perez in Abu Dhabi should he need it, as Red Bull look to secure their first one-two championship finish in their history.