Although there is nothing more at stake for Max Verstappen, he refuses a team order in favor of his teammate Sergio Pérez at the Brazilian GP. This behavior is not only unworthy of a prospective world champion, it could also fall on Verstappen’s feet in the future. A comment.
If Max Verstappen has earned a reputation in recent years, alongside his job of moving Formula 1 cars in the most phenomenal manner on the racetracks of this world, then it is certainly that he is not a child of sadness. Whether on or off the track – the Dutchman proves his skills in dealing all too often. In short: Verstappen is rarely to be trifled with.
At first glance, this character trait may seem beneficial in an individual sport such as Formula 1. Maybe it’s even one of the reasons why the Dutchman has been one of the absolute world leaders in the premier class of motorsport for five years now, has already clinched two world championship titles at the tender age of 25 and is well on the way to becoming one of the greatest drivers to become in the history of racing.
But you can’t do without any help in Formula 1 either. Behind a successful F1 career there are usually a large number of people who smooth the way there. Family members, (financial) sponsors, team bosses, engineers, mechanics – and of course teammates.
Regarding the latter, Verstappen actually has the perfect partner at his side in Sergio Pérez. Since moving to the Bulls, the Mexican has proven to be a loyal and helpful comrade-in-arms, but without radiating enough danger of his own to stand in the way of Verstappen and his ambitions. Remember the season finale last year, when Pérez’s defensive maneuvers against Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton played a significant role in Verstappen ultimately winning the world title.
Red Bull avoids public Verstappen criticism
Pérez is a team player. Someone who helps Verstappen where he can. The Dutchman’s actions at the Brazilian GP, to defy his team’s explicit instructions – to let the Mexican pass before the checkered flag and not to take away important points from Pérez in the fight for second place in the World Championship – is therefore not only completely incomprehensible, it is simply not worthy of a prospective two-time world champion.
After all, for Verstappen it was no longer about anything in Brazil. The title has been under wraps for weeks. Whether he finishes fifth or sixth in the end is no longer of any importance to him. Even if the second place in the world championship in Formula 1 has more prestigious than sporting value, Verstappen’s action puts him in a bad light humanly. Being ungrateful, uncooperative and self-serving.
“I already told you last time. Don’t ask me that again, okay? Is that clear? I gave my reasons. And I stand by them,” he saw no reason to question his behavior even after the end of the race . Worse still: Even though Red Bull confirmed that Verstappen would “do everything to secure second place in the World Championship for Checo (Sergio Pérez; editor’s note) in Abu Dhabi”, there was no public scolding for the superstar in the team.
Above all, motorsport boss Helmut Marko – someone who in the past hardly hesitated to pillory Pérez for the smallest mistakes and to criticize him in public – remained conspicuously silent. In the interview, he spoke of an “internal discussion”. sky. Reasons for Verstappen’s misconduct or even a rebuke for the Dutchman? None!
Verstappen needs Pérez in the future
In view of this, Pérez will also ask himself in the future why he should support someone who so vigorously refuses to support him. If the balance of power shifts in the coming year, Red Bull then perhaps no longer has the dominant car in the field and Mercedes reports back in the title fight, Verstappen will fall on his feet. Then he needs a capable teammate at his side in order to be able to survive against calibers of the magnitude Hamilton.
“I don’t have all the information yet, but I don’t know what to say about it. I’m just disappointed after everything I’ve done for him in recent years. We have to discuss that again in the team,” admitted Pérez nevertheless surprisingly diplomatic after the end of the race. Verstappen should hope that this remains the case in the future.
Formula 1: The World Championship standings (after 21 of 22* races)
|1||Max Verstappen||red bull||429|
|3||Sergio Perez||red bull||290|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||49|
*The Russian GP was canceled without replacement due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Formula 1 originally planned 23 races for the 2022 season.