Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2022

Red Bull “accept Max’s reasoning” over radio row and condemn online abuse

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Red Bull says it has accepted Max Verstappen’s explanation for his refusal to obey an order to let his team mate overtake him at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The team also spoke out against the abuse its team members have received following the events of Sunday’s race, revealing some had received death threats.

With six laps to go in Sunday’s race, Perez was given the instruction “don’t fight Max”. He allowed his team mate to overtake him, and was told “if on the last lap you’re together, we’ll swap back.”

Verstappen was not told of any arrangement to change the positions back at this point. His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase said: “Okay Max go and take some points off Alonso and Leclerc please.”

On the final lap of the race, after Verstappen had been unable to pass any of the cars ahead of him, he was told to let Perez by again. He was given the first message as they approached the Ferradura corner – the sixth turn of the 15 corner circuit.

Verstappen refused, telling the team: “I told you already last time you guys, don’t ask that again to me. Okay? Are we clear about that?”

Red Bull pointed out Verstappen had not been informed of the arrangement to let Perez back ahead until the final lap, acknowledging “as a team we made some mistakes in Brazil.”

“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,” it said in a statement. “Regretfully, Max was only informed at the final corner of the request to give up position without all the necessary information being relayed.

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“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.

Transcript: “Don’t fight Max” – How Red Bull’s team radio row in Brazil unfolded
“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 abuse which had been targeted at its drivers and others in reaction to the incident.

“The events that followed from a social media point of view are completely unacceptable,” they said. “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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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Red Bull “accept Max’s reasoning” over radio row and condemn online abuse”

  1. I mean if one of the drivers mum goes and throws mud online what kind of message does that send?

    1. One rule for some…

  2. Dress it up anyway you like or best to not go any further than what was said earlier in the week that the team has resolved the issue internally.

    1. Even without Max being forewarned to give the place back, he knows his teammate is in a close fight for points, and championship position. He must know the kudos that brings the team.

      Why would he not assist his teammate? Why would he nick points off his teammate?

  3. Absolute nonsense and then maximum deflection about online abuse. I’ve seen many claim apparently Max’s mum was criticising Prez on social media.. so maybe Horner should have a look there. Utterly ridiculous. My respect for Horner is at zero. Just a PR mouthpiece to cover for his arrogant non team playing driver.

    1. Horner is the ultimate deflection master. The guy is he ever thinks about quitting racing will have a brilliant future as a populist politician. If Verstappen doesn’t want to help Perez, then he is free. Though he should also refuse Perez’s help which was decisive in the 2021 title battle. Auto-goal by Verstappen that he will regret if Mercedes will be in contention next year for the championship.

      1. I agree on Horner but would rather say he is very poor at it. Clumsy even. Toto is the real king here. He truly is one of the most clever people I have ever seen in my life. He knows their followers wont see through him. Big respect for this skill set, not for what he choses to do with it by the way. If I would ever need a spin doctor I’d go for Toto. Lets not forget all the toxicity that has unfolded ever since Silverstone 2021 was all triggered by Mercedes and Lewis. Add Christian Horner and you have the perfect storm. Ever since that moment F1 has turned into a soap series and sites like this one keep feeding the fire (clicks equal money). It is a pity it has come to this, but we have to face the reality that humanity is getting more and more divided and less and less smart.

        1. I think RBR is the worst place for Max. He is an immature and seemingly highly unpleasant young man, but his teams antics and spin just reinforce bad behaviour. Deflection is their modus operandi.
          The past few weeks have seen the worst of them.
          My respect for both has not recovered from the two “mongelgates”, red bulls handling of the second was pathetic and reinforced Max’s “not my problem” attitude to his frankly ridiculous bully boy insults of Connolly and the Stroll.
          A nascar driver was sacked for racist comments, Max received no proper sanction. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

        2. MAyrton, the toxicity from Silverstone 2021 was arguably triggered by Dieter stomping around the paddock claiming that Lewis tried to kill Max and demand a race ban. That overstepped the mark.

          1. That was ridiculous indeed. But Mercedes had already seen the threat before that moment and were in the midst of their ‘he is a dangerous driver’ campaign. Something I will never understand as they could have chosen to hold the high ground based on their stellar achievements the 8 (!) preceding years.

  4. Closing ranks to protect the golden boy, I see. I really do despise Red Bull.

  5. So much public hatred being whipped up towards max by people who still have their nose out of joint after AD21, anybody would think he shot Sergio’s puppy. Not even a fan of max but the public hysteria is response to this has been mind boggling. Time for everyone to get over themselves. Guess what, he isn’t the first driver to ignore team orders, and he certainly wont be the last.

    1. @Gubstar it is about AD21 but it’s got nothing to do with people having their nose out of joint about the result. Checo defended like a lion and Max wouldn’t have won the championship without him doing so.

      No, he’s not the first driver to ignore team orders but it’s his behaviour in the aftermath that’s really been quite telling. He’s lost a lot of fans over this and it’s those very fans, that now feel utterly betrayed, that are being the most vocal.

      To those of us who have always viewed his arrogance and selfishness in a dim light, this is just another example of his poor attitude, which he displays on and off the track. It’s nothing new and therefore nothing to get hysterical about.

      1. and it’s those very fans, that now feel utterly betrayed, that are being the most vocal.

        This is utter nonsense and you know it. A couple of “new to F1” loudmouths don’t constitute to fans and their noise is just people positioning themselves as somehow morally superior. Pathetic is what it is.

        1. @w0o0dy
          This is utter nonsense and you know it

          I’ve seen it personally. It’s a fact and YOU know it.

      2. Checo’s defending on Hamilton was the first thing he ever did for RedBull in 2021. All preceding races that season he let Max and team down. Max had fought 2 Mercedesses mostly alone all year. And in the end this last race causing delay to Hamilton didnt make a difference at all. As to fans being disappointed; its just a vocal small minority that cant get over Abu Dhabi 2021. They are increasingly being frowned upon as the group that is highly susceptible to media spinning things and not being able to oversee what is being deliberately made up and what are facts. Every society has tis group that will always be exploited by the media and corporations wanting to make a quick buck.

        1. @mayrton oh Mayrton where would we be without your orange-tinted perspective?

          And in the end this last race causing delay to Hamilton didnt make a difference at all

          I’m sorry but what you’re saying is just plain wrong. Without Checo holding Hamilton up, there would have been enough of a gap to pit him under VSC and still come out in front of Verstappen.

          As to fans being disappointed; its just a vocal small minority that cant get over Abu Dhabi 2021

          It’s VERSTAPPEN fans that are deeply disappointed. I think they’re quite happy with AD21.

          1. It doesn’t matter how many time you repeat it… It doesn’t make it true.

            A couple of bandwagon losers are not “VERSTAPPEN fans” it’s a couple of “weather vanes” going with whatever wind is blowing.

          2. It does make it true, woody, since there was indeed enough time to pit under the VSC, meaning he’d have lost the title hadn’t been for perez that race.

  6. I really hope Perez follows his team’s example.
    And looks after himself.

    Red Bull is toxic.
    My own personal opinion is that the entire Verstappen family is toxic as well.

    Horner is an insincere, two-faced person and I would believe in fairies before believing anything he says.

    1. He allowed his team mate to overtake him,

      No he didn’t, doesn’t matter but Perez did not let Max past, he was overtaken.
      Journos can’t write, why is that? Imagine if doctors couldn’t practice medicine.
      Everyone is two faced, Max, Perez, Horner, journalists, fans.

    2. Can you imagine the Verstappens as your neighbours? Europe’s white trash.

  7. I actually still cannot believe Verstappen openly scolded his employers in front of millions of viewers around the globe.

    “don’t ask that again to me. Okay? Are we clear about that?”

    Literally bending over the Redbull bosses and slapping their backside in front of everyone…

    …and they’ve now come out and defended him.

    Where have i seen this behaviour before, i wonder.

    1. Kimi Raikkonen AD2012 – ‘LEAVE ME ALONE, I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING’. If thats not slating your own team over the team radio I dont know what is lol

      Lewis ignored team orders in Hungary 2014 when asked to move over for Rosberg. Lewis responded “I’m not slowing down for Nico, if he gets close enough to overtake, he can overtake”. As there is no difference between last Sunday and this, I wonder if Max had responded with the same line, whether this public hatred would be so high. Unfortunately everyone has short memories

      1. I see no relation to the examples given.

        Raikkonen is a driver telling a engineer that he’s aware of the situation and is already in the process of doing something to rectify it.

        Hamilton was in a championship battle with the very person he was being asked to slow down for, in a race where his engine had blew up the day before in qualifying, Hamilton was racing his way back into contention, and wasn’t even telling the team he wouldn’t let Rosberg by, but that Rosberg needs to up his pace to pass him.

        1. So why didnt Sergio pick up his pace then? Why wasn’t he right behind Max ready to get past him? There is absolutely no difference between the 2 situations. It doesn’t matter if you are battling for a championship or not. Its the same principle. One driver is slower than the other and the faster one didnt want to slow down for the other.

          1. Because Sergio was told that was the deal period! Is that simple enough for you to understand?

          2. Sergio didn’t need to pick up the pace as he expected Max to let him pass, as he was told. Totally different situation.

      2. @Gubstar you really tried to use Raikkonen’s famous “leave me alone” as an equivalent to Max’s tirade?

        There is no precedent to this, which is why it’s created such an issue. You can try and dig up other quotes to justify your position if you like, but you’ll fail, again.

        1. yeah mate, unbelievable reasoning. So out of touch with anything.
          Just like Max and this team statement.

        2. You must be very new to F1, hundreds of precedents throughout history.

          1. @Cronies name one, a proper one, not like the ridiculous examples we’ve been shown so far.

          2. pironi – villeneuve.

          3. I wasn’t following that era since I wasn’t born yet, but from what I recall that qualifies since one let the other pass and the other didn’t in another circumstance.

          4. @Cronies the Pironi – Villeneuve didn’t slate each other over team radio for all the world to hear.

            Do try again and make it RELEVANT this time

  8. Max sure does occupy alot of space the heads of his detractors…. so much anger.

    1. @Cronies most of the anger is coming from people who used to hold him in high regard. He’s lost a lot of fans over this.

      1. So what if he has. Its not a popularity contest. Its called motor racing (Toto) :D

      2. Again with the nonsense. Is he still the best driver out ther at the moment? Yes easily. Does he have grounds for not cooperating? Yes. So it doesn’t matter if you agree. In a way you can see he refusal as : crashing your car on purpose to gain an advantage over the teammate is reprehensible, even more than refusing to slow down to help your (too slow) teammate..
        And I fully agree with him there. Crashing on purpose is bad for the tram, bad for the sport. A lot worse than not aiding your teammate to keep a position in the drivers Championship that he doesn’t really deserve.
        Do I think it’s a smart move? No not smart at all! Do I think he should do stuff like this over something that happened 5 months ago? No not at all. But if anyone says they stopped being his fan over this I say they were never his fans. They were just tagging along for his success. That’s weak and certainly not a position to be calling out his sportsmanship.

        1. @w0o0dy

          Is he still the best driver out ther at the moment?


          Does he have grounds for not cooperating?


          1. Who won the WDC? Who won 14! Races this season (something no driver before Max has done) Who holds the biggest points gap to any competitor ever?

            You must be one of the delusionals preaching Hamilton’s gospel while he had 9 accidents this year and no race win but still you will claim he’s an awesome driver or the GOAT (he’s not he doesn’t even come close to Ascari)

          2. Woody, seriously, he is a good driver, but come off it, Riccardo showed he is no genius. Put FA, LH, GR, LN, or CL in that Red Bull and Max would not be winning the WDC never mind 14 races.

          3. doesn’t even come close to Ascari

            Ascari is astronomically ahead and above

            I’d say, doesn’t even come close to Schumacher (Mick of course)

      3. Please, bet he has not lost one genuine fan – surely any so called fan would atleast wait to here the real facts not believe all the hate…

        It just angers Hamilton fans, they a little touchy…

        1. @Cronies

          Genuine fans will only take so much. Braindead acolytes will follow their idols without a second thought.

        2. What facts? They won’t say anything about it, so we’ll be waiting forever.

      4. Mwah. I don’t consider myself a ‘fan’ of anyone, but I do like Max as a driver, and I still like him now.

        I don’t think what he did was a smart move from a long term point of view, but let’s not go overboard here.

        – if Pereze was not told to ‘not fight Max’, Max would have overtaken Perez anyway as he was much faster. But it would have cost him extra time he might have used to overtake Alonso (which didn’t work).
        – so if Max and Perez had ‘just raced’ with no interference from the team the result would have been the same
        – with a view to Perez’ fight for 2nd, not overtaking him at all would strategically be the smarter move but would have meant a team order to Max to not overtake him in the first place (which did not come)
        – Max was not told up front to switch back when overtaking Perez, so did not agree to anything beforehand. He was simply told to give back a position on the last lap when he did not feel he as ‘given’ that lap in the first place (and with barely any time to think it over)
        – Max’s response on radio was certainly not smart with a view to PR – but one of the things I like about Max in the first place is that he seems totally unconcerned with his PR, unlike some others I could mention who seem to think of little else..

        So really, this whole reaction has been completely disproportionate in my view.

        1. Agree, it’d have looked better without any communication, just a normal overtake, which would have happened anyway.

  9. To the surprise of zero people.

    That’s just like 2013 when they said that vettel would “face the consequences of his acts” and later everybody acted like Malaysia never happened.

    That’s Horner’s leadership for you. Spoil the star rotten in order not to lose It.

  10. Ferrari fan here, they say that Ferrari lack that edge to become a championship winning team and over the years I have come to accept it. On the upside it is not toxic like the one in Red Bull. It appears Toto Wolff has struck the perfect balance cutthroat enough to win but still with some dignity and class.

    1. Lol – that’s a first!

  11. This reads like a public apology to Max Verstappen. Not surprisingly.

    The line that he was unaware of the plan so it was unfair on him doesn’t wash given what he said over the radio. He didn’t act confused at the request, or ask for clarification. He remained silent, ignored it, then explained quite definitively after the finish why he didn’t do it.

    1. I think you should read it as : we shouldn’t have put him on the Spot publicly while they were fully aware of his position and could have sorted this whole mess ahead fo the race. Then it would have been clear he would refuse and they wouldn’t have asked Perez to let him through.

  12. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    17th November 2022, 12:53

    For such an excellently performing team Red Bull aren’t half weak…

  13. You do realise that it’s possible to be a fan of formula one, and comment on things that have happened, without being a blinkered, obsessive fan of one driver or another?

  14. “I told you already last time you guys, don’t ask that again to me. Okay? Are we clear about that?” What in this quote make you think that Max wasn’t aware of the “arrangement”? The “last time” part implies the knowledge of a precedent to refer to, hence knowledge of what asked and why! Not to mention, teams always have that plan B or C D F… And Christian you and Helmut have worked very hard to bring this kind of attitude toward your team. May I suggest toning it down a bit? Not every twit has to be replied to… not every troll has to be argued with publicly…. and with the press, sometime a short “It’s been dealt with” would be better than bla Max this bla Max that bla poor RB bla bla bla. By the way if you need any advice on how to deal with that, go ask Ferrari and Mercedes how they manage. Welcome to F1 the Greatest Circus on The Internet!

    1. So if the team is happy and the drivers are on speaking terms again, whats with all the negative comments? It kinda shows the bias and makes the content of what is being said highly questionable.

      1. Was not meant as a reply, but separate post

      2. And are you susrprised the drivers are on speaking terms? Perez is a nobody in there. He doesnt get to choose. It’s their way or the highway, so of course everything is fine again. On a professional level.

        It doesn’t mean he is fine with it, but he chose to move on from it. He’s the weaker link what else can he do?

        Max disobeyed their orders for his own little interests for all the world to see and now they’re backing him, not because he is right, but because he is too valuable to them, so better keep him happy. Why should anyone empatize with this?

      3. 100% This. Already been sorted behind closed doors, the team have moved on and so have the drivers. Never seen such drama over a driver ignoring team orders before. So many ‘fans’ taking the moral high ground. I guess its just part of the modern society we live in. Lets just wait and see how Sky and Ted Kravitz approach the interviews this weekend. Wonder if they will have moved on from it, or whether they will be peddling the Max hate again

        1. You really believe it’s sorted? Obviously Perez will say he’s fine, he’s a team player etc. The question is whether next time he’s asked to try his utmost to defend against a Verstappen rival, say, he really does put in 100% or makes a vague effort, Bottas-style, and then just says ‘tried my best.’ How will Red Bull tell the difference? And even if they suspect he’s lost motivation as Max’s title enabler, can they do much about it in the short to medium term? The level of animosity seems fairly high if that Max mum tweet was for real. If so, Red Bull have a real problem.

  15. Mercs win one race and RB is already falling apart…

  16. I know that what Max did was not his best moment and yeah his family are not good people like his parents but the fact he got abused is unacceptable he derseved light criticism but some people take it way too far

  17. Red Bull just make me chuckle. Marko was asked the day before about switching positions in the sprint race and said they didn’t ask but Max would be onboard to do it. And the fact that they state that they never discussed position switches for the actual race is laughable. No one is believing that one of the best teams in F1 is not discussing possible scenarios for every race. No one!

  18. So Max being happy with his ‘personal reasons’ is more important to Red Bull than the team securing 1-2 in the championship. Because that in essence is what they’ve just admitted.
    What a strange team.

  19. “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.”

    If Worstappen had a good reason why are they hiding it…

  20. Watch the video on Youtube, Sainz does the exact same thing, 5 seconds later.

  21. Mark my words.
    100% MV will rue the day he crossed Kwistian Spice.
    CH’s ruthlessness is well known & documented clearly.
    The Sword of Damocles is now hanging over Max, I’m a me me me entitled brat’s, head.
    Please nobody be surprised when it drops!

    1. Lmao, Max is setting new standards for Redbull when it comes to success. They know if they keep him and deliver the car he will deliver the titles. No one is crazy enough to let Max go. He’s a sure bet if ever there was one…

    2. No fan of Max here but this sounds pretty delusional

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