Sergio Perez has hit out at Max Verstappen for ignoring team orders at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix after a heated exchange between the drivers and pit wall.
Verstappen was told by engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to let Perez through on the final lap after Turn 12 to help the Mexican in his battle for second place in the championship.
Despite being told three more times to let his teammate by, Verstappen didn’t listen and finished sixth, four seconds ahead of Perez at Interlagos.
“Let Checo through, let Checo through, let Checo through please,” said Lambiase to Verstappen.
When Verstappen crossed the finishing line his engineer asked: “Max, what happened?
The two-time world champion’s responded by saying: “I told you already last time, don’t ask that again to me. Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons, and I stuck by it.”
What was Perez told?
Perez believed Verstappen would let him through and made his feelings clear on the team radio. Here’s how the conversation went.
Perez: “Yeah, thank you for that guys” (sarcasm).
Christian Horner: “I’m sorry about that Checo.”
Hugh Bird: “We’ll debrief everything afterwards.”
Perez concluded: “Yeah, it shows who he really is!”
Going into the final round in Abu Dhabi, Perez is tied on points with Leclerc in second place for the championship, but is behind due to having one less race win.
Whoever finishes ahead of each other next Sunday, providing they score points, will be the 2022 runner-up to Verstappen.
Why did Verstappen not let Perez by?
Red Bull and Verstappen have been tight-lipped on the reason for the Dutchman’s actions.
One reason could go back all the way to qualifying at the Monaco GP when Perez caused a red flag in Q3 by spinning and hitting the wall.
It meant nobody, including Verstappen, could improve their lap time so Perez started third, ahead of his teammate who was fourth.
Perez went on to win the race after taking advantage of a strategy blunder from Ferrari, whilst Verstappen was third.