Red Bull issued a statement saying they “made some mistakes in Brazil”, referring to the incident in which Max Verstappen chose not to return the P6 to teammate Sergio Perez in the closing stages of the race.
Pérez lost places on medium tires and ceded P6 to Verstappen in an attempt to absorb P5 from Fernando Alonso. When Verstappen was asked to return the place after a failed attempt to cross the Alps, he did not comply.
This means that Perez heads into this week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on points with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, instead of having a two-point lead.
Verstappen and Perez discussed the incident with the team in the moments after the race, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner echoing Verstappen’s comments that the world champion would “fully support” Perez’ bid on P2 in Abu Dhabi.
On Thursday in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull issued a statement explaining how events will unfold in relation to the order made to Verstappen and thereafter.
“As a team we made some mistakes in Brazil. We didn’t envision the situation that happened on the last lap and we didn’t agree on a strategy for such a scenario before the race.”
“Unfortunately, Max was only informed at the last corner of the assignment request without relaying all the necessary information. This put Max, who has always been an open and fair team player, in a compromising position with little time to react which was not our intention.
2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Verstappen refuses to let Perez pass on last lap in Brazil
After the race, Max spoke openly and honestly, allowing both drivers to resolve any outstanding issues or concerns. Before the team accepted Max’s reasoning, the conversation was a personal matter that would be kept confidential between the team and no further comment would be made.
“The events that followed, from a social media point of view, are completely unacceptable,” the statement continued. “The abusive behavior online towards Max, Checo, the team and their families is appalling, sad, and unfortunately something we as a sport have to deal with with frustrating regularity.
“It has no place in racing or society at large 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 and enjoy our sport. The abuse must stop.”
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