Verstappen Refuses to Back Down After Ignoring Team Orders
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing — Photo by canno73

World champion Max Verstappen refused to back down after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, having ignored team orders to let teammate Sergio Perez pass him late in the race.

Verstappen finished sixth, with Perez in seventh, while George Russell won in Sao Paulo his first career F1 win as part of a Mercedes one-two with Lewis Hamilton second.

But there was drama with the two Red Bulls, with Perez still battling for second with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ championship, while Verstappen has long been crowned champion.

Verstappen had been permitted by Red Bull to overtake Perez on lap 67 of 71, having worked his way through the field from 17th and a collision with Hamilton, that led to a five-second penalty.

But Verstappen was given permission to attack and overtake Perez only on the proviso that it allowed him to push for the top five, which he failed to do, before being told by the team to hand back the place to help the Mexican’s push for second spot overall.

The Dutchman refused over team radio, with Red Bull apologizing to Perez after the race. The Mexican was heard saying: “It shows who he really is.”

Verstappen told Sky Sports after the race: “Thats why I first went to speak to the team before I came here. We put everything on the table why, and I gave my reasons. Im not going to say why, but I think they understood.

“I already explained it to them before, so it was not new to me, and not new to them.

“I think its more important as a team now that we finally sat together, altogether, and we really put everything on the table, and we move forward.

“We go to Abu Dhabi, of course we want to win the race, but also if theres a chance to help Checo I will, but thats why it was important we had this meeting now.”

Leclerc and Perez are locked on 290 points, with the Ferrari driver ahead 3-2 on race wins, heading into the final race of the year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Leclerc gained 12 points with a fourth-place finish, ironically behind teammate Carlos Sainz. Perez earned six points in seventh.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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