Grand prix

‘We made some mistakes’ – Red Bull defend Verstappen’s team orders refusal

Verstappen refused to comply with an instruction from Red Bull to allow Perez through on the last lap of the race to aid the Mexican’s bid to secure runner-up spot in the F1 2022 world championship standings

The world champion snapped back “I told you already” over team radio when asked why he had not followed the order after the chequered flag. 

It has been reported Verstappen’s defiance was a retaliation for Perez admitting to a “deliberate” crash in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this season. 

Ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull released a statement in which they admitted Verstappen was put in a “compromising situation” after only being informed at the final corner of the request to concede position “without all the necessary information being relayed.”

“As a team we made some mistakes in Brazil,” the statement read. “We had not envisaged the situation that unfolded on the last lap and we had not agreed a strategy for such a scenario before the race. 

“Regretfully, Max was only informed at the final corner of the request to give up position without all the necessary information being relayed. This put Max, who has always been an open and fair team player, in a compromising situation with little time to react which was not our intention. 

“Following the race Max spoke openly and honestly, allowing for both drivers to resolve any outstanding issues or concerns. The Team accept Max’s reasoning, the conversation was a personal matter which will remain private between the team and no further comment will be made.”

Red Bull also condemned the “completely unacceptable” response to the incident on social media, revealing death threats were made towards extended family members. 

“The events that followed from a social media point of view are completely unacceptable,” the statement continued. 

“The abusive online behaviour towards Max, Checo, the Team and their respective families is shocking and saddening and unfortunately is something that we as a sport are having to address with depressing regularity. 

“There is no place for it in racing or society as a whole and we need to do and be better. At the end of the day this is a sport, we are here to race. 

“Death threats, hate mail, vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable. We value inclusion and want a safe space for everyone to work in and enjoy our sport. The abuse needs to stop.”

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