Championship leader Max Verstappen has hit out at his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez for compromising his final lap in qualifying.
The Dutchman will start tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix third on the grid, ahead of the two Mercedes of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who will line up P2 and P1, respectively.
Perez was sent out ahead of Verstappen on their final Q3 run to give the Dutchman a slipstream, but the Mexican went off the circuit in the middle sector after Yuki Tsunoda ran wide and seemingly distracted him.
This compromised Verstappen, as he was expecting a yellow flag and therefore decided to lift off, preventing him from improving on his previous effort.
After the incident, the Dutchman got on the team radio and said: “Honestly, what an idiot.”
He was seemingly referring to Perez, though he could have been referring to Tsunoda for triggering the incident.
Speaking after qualifying, a frustrated Verstappen said the incident ruined his final Q3 run.
“Yeah, it seemed like through qualifying the balance went away a little bit. But then on the last lap, I was on for a good lap but I don’t know what happened in front of me, but there was two guys going off in front of me,” he said.
“So I thought there was going to be a yellow flag, so I backed out and of course the lap was destroyed.”
Continuing, he said that starting third is “not amazing” but better than starting in P2.
The Dutch ace will go into the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix with a 12-point advantage over Sir Lewis Hamilton at the top of the Drivers’ Standings.