According to Max Verstappen, he is not obligated to help his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez maintain his second position in the championship standings.
Three-time world champion Max Verstappen has claimed that it is not his responsibility to help his teammmate days after Sergio Perez’s retirement on the first lap of his home race. This enabled Lewis Hamilton to get within 20 points behind the Mexican in the standings.
There were rumors of animosity between the Red Bull duo in the lead-up to the Mexican race, especially after the Dutchman hired two bodyguards. F1 attempted to downplay the matter by conjuring up another campaign ‘Racespect’ which seems to have its roots in Monaco last year.
According to Verstappen and those close to him, Perez crashed during qualifying on purpose so as to prevent his teammate from taking the lead.
The Dutchman’s emotions on the situation didn’t come to light until this past Brazil Grand Prix, when he was asked to give way to his teammate so that he could get more points. It appears that Verstappen hasn’t changed over the past 12 months, based on the recent events.
“I told you already last time, don’t ask that again to me,” Verstappen responded to a question regarding his relationship with Perez. “Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”
When asked if he would help his friend finish in second place, he answered: “I think at the end of the day it shouldn’t always matter on me, you know, to get the points.
“I’m confident in Checo that he can stay ahead because I do think on average we have the faster car and I think also last year it wasn’t well spoken about before we got into the race weekend.
“Let’s just hope we don’t get into that situation, I think it’s better for everyone.”
Christian Horner maintains that Perez is not subject to Helmut Marko’s allegation that he must finish second in order to keep his seat, which would give Red Bull its first-ever 1-2 in the championship.
Perez’s contract expires at the conclusion of 2024 season.