Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Verstappen, Perez hail “great team result” after team orders switch

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez described Red Bull’s Spanish Grand Prix one-two finish as a “great team result” after swapping positions late in the race.

A mistake by Verstappen at turn four early in the race had dropped him behind Perez, who was asked to allow his team mate by and complied. Later in the race, Perez held the lead of after both Red Bull drivers had completed their final scheduled pit stops. Verstappen caught Perez, who was again asked by Red Bull to allow his team mate through into the lead, which he eventually did.

Verstappen went on to win the race, with Perez securing a one-two for Red Bull in second place. Perez said he was “happy” with the result despite having to let his team mate through into the lead.

“I think it was close, but at the end it’s a great team result and I’m happy for that,” said Perez.

Perez had requested that Verstappen return his earlier favour by letting him through to attack George Russell while Verstappen’s DRS problems left him struggling to pass the Mercedes. However, the team did not grant his request, instead pitting Verstappen which allowed Perez to attack and pass Russell.

“We were on different tyre strategies at the time,” Perez said. “I let Max by in the beginning and then I thought at the time I could go by and not lose crucial seconds to make my strategy work. But anyway, it’s a great team result.”

Verstappen explained his early-race error had been prompted by a gust of wind while he approached the fast right-hander of turn four. “I suddenly had a lot of tailwind, so I just lost the rear and went off,” he said.

“Of course I was in the train then and I tried to pass [Russell] but my DRS was not always working, so that made it very tough. But we managed to do a strategy to get ahead again and do our own race and eventually win the race. A difficult beginning, but a good end.”

With his win, Verstappen secured his third consecutive race victory and took the lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of Charles Leclerc, who retired from the early lead.

“I was very happy to win and very happy for Checo,” Verstappen said. “It’s a great result for the team.”

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Will Wood
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33 comments on “Verstappen, Perez hail “great team result” after team orders switch”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    22nd May 2022, 17:07

    On the one hand, I feel for Checo, being forced to let it go so early in the season.
    Then again, Mercedes has done it a billion times with Bottas and her majesty and last season, it made all the difference in the end. Can’t really blame Red Bull, although plenty of ‘fans’ will

    1. wbravenboer
      22nd May 2022, 17:12

      It would have been more painful if it was 4 laps to the end. But Max was faster, with fresher tyres. For the team it is better, Perez is third now. Hopefully Checo gets his chance again, for now it was the most obvious decision.

    2. Bottas fought Hamilton harder in Spain last year than he did Verstappen the whole season.

      1. True, that was unusual from bottas, it felt like there had been some contract decision already.

    3. Oh the Irony…lol

  2. To use team orders in this way so early in the season confirms the obvious – that there is a clear number 1 and number 2 driver at Red Bull. For Horner to claim otherwise after the race is disingenuous.

    I’d have much more respect for him if he’d been honest and just said that they wanted Verstappen to win the race as it would put him in the lead of the championship.

    1. exactly

    2. There is no need to speak about team order if you are consistency slower than your teammate.
      Sometimes Rubens is faster than Schumi thats why he got the sympathy.

  3. Perez’s contract ends this year, so of course he’s going to follow team orders…. hoping RB renews.

    1. I think he is fine I heard it was already done for next year.

  4. Quite right. All the teams implement team orders when they are in situations to score big points such as Red Bull today. I think Mercedes have changed their stance though regarding Hamilton. I kind of get the impression that the team are focusing on George Russell more as the season has progressed, possibly because they feel that at the moment he is the more reliable option. Despite the mishap with K Mag at the start, Hamilton had a good drive today which you felt he needed after his poor season to date. The fact remains that George, despite all of Mercedes issues, is still beating Hamilton every race.

    1. They have no reason to focus on either driver since they are not fighting for the championship.
      The fact remains that George has not beeen unlucky once this season as opposed to Hamilton who has been in all races apart from Bahrain.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      22nd May 2022, 18:28

      It’s a different situation. Hamilton and Bottas was a number 1 & 2 situation. Same as at Red Bull now. Russell is Hamilton’s replacement so they’re not going to treat him as a support driver. He’s a legit racing driver and once Hamilton retires, they’ll bring in a support driver for Russell.

      1. Did Mercedes ever ask Bottas to let Hamilton through to win a race this early in the season?

        Hamilton was a superior driver to Bottas, as Verstappen is to Perez, but I always thought that if Bottas was ahead on merit then he got to at least fight for the win.

        1. Yes, I suppose that’s true.

  5. It wasnt a team order as general, it was a switch of drivers whose are on different srtategies. Happens 100 times in a season.

    1. That was the Red Bull excuse to hide all their blushes. But the strategies had played out by then and it was a simple race to the end. Or could have been.

  6. At the rate at which Max was gaining on Checo on his new tires, considering the speed differential he would have passed him anyway, even with the DRS issues he had.
    No need for RB to risk one or two DNFs in that scenario.

    1. This is precisely what I said of Lewis vs Bottas in Sochi 4 years ago and almost got eaten alive.

      But I agree even though this was partly down to the lousy strategy they gave Sergio.

      1. Well, personally sochi 2018 seemed worse than the infamous austria 2002 by ferrari, hamilton had the title in the pocket and yet mercedes felt the need to extend the gap to 50 points or so that close to the end of the season, when bottas had been the better driver that race.

  7. As Jolyn Palmer said in the race commentary, it’s why Ricciardo left. It’s Max’s team.
    I just find it all a bit craven and disrespectful: OK so there’s a slim chance they might collide when racing. But racing is the point of why we’re all watching. Perez earned the lead by being the Red Bull driver who hadn’t made a mistake and spun off. Max is far quicker and a better racer. So let him show that.

    1. @david-br Didn’t he show just that? Was he to just sit and drive 8/10 behind SP to ensure Checo got the win? Is that a win Checo would have been happy with? Yesterday CL was praised to no end for spinning but then recovering physically and mentally to take pole. Why should Max be derided for also recovering from his mistake?

      Max was the faster driver today in spite of his off, and SP is not precluded from winning races too, but he needs to put in the same or better pace in quali and the race to stamp his authority on said wins. It’s Max’s team while Max is backing it up with his performances and SP has every bit the car and team to do the same. Of course it’s a bit complicated right now with Max’s dnfs and the opportunity that was presented points-wise with CL’s first dnf. The point being CS is not taking points off CL when they both finish, so what are RBR to do? This kind of math has been going on for decades in F1.

      1. @robbie

        Was he to just sit and drive 8/10 behind SP to ensure Checo got the win? Is that a win Checo would have been happy with?

        You’re swapping one team order – let Max past – for another team order – stay behind Checo. Why either? Just let Max get past Checo if he can. Otherwise we’re in ‘Fernando is faster than you’ territory. Prove it!

        1. @david-br Yeah true in a perfect world of all drivers racing each other at all times, teammate or not, but we know that is not reality. I do think Max was proving it by how quickly he was reeling Checo in, but more importantly he’s been proving it all season over Checo which is what gave him the cache to be allowed past without a risk to both drivers for the sake of both the drivers and the constructors points. It does suck for Checo and this will sting but it must also sting that he has not used his car like Max has so far this season to put himself into the fight for the WDC. And not for lack of car as we can see.

          1. @robbie True. It really depends on Checo. Presuming that he’s told that he will be allowed to fight for the championship with Max, then it’s up to him to make that happen, even though, realistically, his time at RBR has already shown he’s no match over a season.

          2. @david-br Yeah I have no doubt that the team treats Checo like he is a Championship contender as anything less would be disrespectful towards him and he just seems too at home on the team to think he’s not fully respected. SP talks in the pre-quali and pre-race stuff as though he is going for the pole and the win, and he has the teams support on that, and he just falls short, and they continue to respect him with trying to help him with everything they have from his side of the garage, while the whole team in it’s entirety has a duty to advance the car as best they can overall. It’s just there’s this gorilla in the room and so far it’s not named Checo.

  8. Given that it’s so late in the season, it’s understandable that the *golden boi* must be favoured. Oh wait..

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      22nd May 2022, 18:40

      Are points worth less this early in the season?

      I’d say it’s already fairly obvious that Perez isn’t going to be fighting for the title this season – nor is Sainz. Neither have got the pace to keep up with their team mates so on that basis, it makes no sense to let the slower driver take the points off the quicker one.

      Ferrari haven’t had to make the call yet but I have no doubt they’ll order Sainz out of the way when it’s needed.

      Hamilton and Verstappen went into the final race level on points last year – you can’t afford to throw away 7 points just to be nice. When Perez shows he can keep up with Verstappen, he won’t have to worry about getting asked to move over.

      1. @petebaldwin Perez won’t be fighting for the title because RB team orders will prevent him. Danny Ric left the team because this was not acceptable to him.
        Ferrari as a team have historically applied team orders, even when they were not supposed to, with some sources saying this gets written into the driver contracts. Maybe or maybe not, on current form, there will be no need this season.
        Mercedes have applied team orders only late in the season, and only when necessary, when one driver (LH in each case, granted) was clearly in the lead for the driver’s championship.

  9. And im all of those who heaped hatred on Ferrari for using team orders too early in the season back in 2002 will do thesqme with Red Bull now.

    Or will they just show there complaints back then were nothing more than anti Ferrari & Schumacher bias?

  10. RB maximising Verstappen’s points? No problem really.
    But when Mercedes used to do it with Hamilton, it was a disgrace to the sport.
    How the fans changed their mind is a mystery…

    1. Russia 2018 was a disgrace, prob worse than austria 2002, not every team radio was unreasonable.

    2. team order ofc*

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