Max Verstappen refused to give in to Sergio Perez in Brazil and said Red Bull knew his reasons, although Christian Horner was tight-lipped.
Verstappen’s second world championship and Red Bull constructors’ title are over, with the focus now on ensuring Perez finishes P2 in the standings ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Perez was ordered to hand over to Verstappen in Brazil after a late safety car restart, with Red Bull planning to release Verstappen to attack Leclerc as Perez had started to drop positions on his medium compound tyres.
Red Bull told Perez that if Verstappen didn’t get past Leclerc they would switch positions. This is where it all got a little tricky.
Both drivers crossed the line with Verstappen still ahead of Perez, Verstappen initially silent with his team before telling Red Bull he had already told them why he wouldn’t give Perez a position.
Sky Sports F1 have been trying to get answers from Red Bull principal Horner.
“We discuss these things internally, I’m not going to get into what we discuss behind closed doors,” Horner said.
He, however, said his two drivers shook hands and moved on, with attention now turning to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Perez now enters this race level on points with Leclerc, with Horner making it clear that Verstappen will play his part there to help Perez should he need it.
“The pilots obviously talked about it as well,” continued Horner. “They are very, very clear.
“And for us Checo is now level on points with Charles, Ferrari has not changed cars. Now we are going to Abu Dhabi as a team to do our best to get Checo to that second place and Max will fully support that. .
“The drivers discussed it, they shook hands and we are absolutely focused on this next race. We work as a team, we race as a team and our goal and our priority is to see if we can get Checo to finish second in the championship.
“It’s something we’ve never done as a team before, and Max is also committed. We’ll do our best in Abu Dhabi to achieve that. So it’s a straight fight between Checo and Charles and if Max can help in any way he will.
“Checo has done a phenomenal job all year and he deserves this second place. And I think as a team we will do our best to support that in order to achieve that in Abu Dhabi.
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