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Verstappen apologized to Red Bull, but did not specifically explain why he did not let Perez go

Max Verstappen; photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen’s refusal to let team-mate Sergio Perez into the Brazilian Grand Prix caused the dissatisfaction of both the Mexican pilot and his team Red Bull. According to information from Auto Motor und Sport, the team’s management urgently called a crisis meeting immediately after the final at the Interlagos circuit.

Verstappen has apologized to the team for his behavior on the track. However, he refused to give an explanation why he didn’t miss his teammate. He later stated that what was said was nothing new for the team.

Christian Horner insisted the two riders have agreed and in Abu Dhabi the whole team – including the now two-time world champion – will be helping Perez

“We discussed the issue behind closed doors. The pilots discussed. Our aim for Abu Dhabi as a team and with Charles and Checo tied on points is to do everything we can to support Checo to take second place in the championship. Max apparently made that commitment as well. So as far as we’re concerned, we’re looking forward, not back.”

“I will not reveal what was discussed. I think the situation on the radio with us was not as public as what happened with Ferrari. But the team – Verstappen included and made it clear that they will – we will do what we can for Perez. We have never had such an achievement in our history, even in the days of V8 engines. So the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be exciting. The dynamics will be different – we will also fight for the second place in the championship.”

“We discussed the matter. I think the pilots were very clear. They know what the goal is, they shook hands and now we focus on the last race,” Horner added.

Red Bull rarely makes such statements, but they always follow a scandal within the team between the two drivers or people connected to them. Horner’s previous similar remark was due to a statement by Jos Verstappen. Max’s father said after the Monaco Grand Prix that he didn’t think Red Bull had done enough to put his son at the top of the race on the principality’s streets.

“At the end of the day, Max and Sergio are part of the same team. They are components of a larger whole – Red Bull Racing. This is not Verstappen Racing or Perez Racing. Both drivers work for the team and have a serious responsibility. We have 800 people building the cars for them,” Horner said at the time

It is said that the likely reason for Verstappen’s action was qualifying straight from Monaco. Perez then crashed at the end of Q3 and Max was unable to complete his final sprint attempt.

Even Helmut Marko seemed unhappy with Verstappen, which is even rarer, and with Horner’s statements that they are all part of the same team.

“Max wanted to catch up [Фернандо] Alonso and [Шарл] Leclerc. But he should do everything possible to finish first and second in the championship. I have nothing else to say on the matter,” Marco declared.

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