Sergio Perez won the Saudi Arabian GP. Teammate Max Verstappen followed the Mexican driver. Verstappen had a stellar recovery drive from P15 to P2. The Dutchman has expressed his opinion over failing to win the race. Subsequently, the post-race cooldown room was a rather uneasy atmosphere for both Red Bull drivers. Perez and Verstappen discussed the fastest lap of the race.
Sergio Perez enquired the 25-year-old about getting the fastest lap. The fastest lap in the Grand Prix allows an extra point for a driver if they finish in the top 10. The Dutchman acknowledged getting the fastest lap. He replied, “On the last lap, yeah.” Perez further asked his teammate if he had been told to push. He said, “Were you not told to keep the pace?” Max Verstappen quickly pointed out that the team had told him to keep a pace of 1:33.0 at the end. He said, “Ah.. yeah, 33.0, yeah.”
However, things then took a turn, as Max Verstappen mentioned asking the team about the fastest lap time. This lap time was quicker than the pace requested by Red Bull. He continued, “But then I asked what was the fastest lap and I think it was a tenth faster than what we were doing.” This followed an awkward silence in the room while Fernando Alonso watched as a spectator.
This could raise tensions at Milton Keynes as Verstappen managed to gain a tenth over Sergio Perez and get the bonus point. Every point counts in the F1 world championship, and this bonus point might give Max Verstappen an advantage in the latter half of the season. Checo, on the other hand, did not seem pleased about losing the extra point to his teammate.
Discover: Why is Max Verstappen so angry?
Fans unhappy with Max Verstappen’s clinching the fastest lap
Fans on Twitter acknowledged Perez’s right to go for the fastest lap. One fan wrote, “Checo was free to push… it was fair game.” At the same time, another user demanded Max Verstappen beat his teammate on track rather than the pit wall. The user replied, “This is racing! Prove your worth without team orders!” This a reference to Red Bull using team orders in the past to help the Dutchman on track.
Another user pointed out that things might not change at Red Bull. Max Verstappen is considered the Austrian team’s number 1 driver, which is set to continue. The user commented, “It won’t make a difference, RB will prioritize Max over Perez.” Similarly, another user highlighted this as they expect nothing to change at Milton Keynes. The user replied, “Not at all. Checo’s team doesn’t have his back. They will give Max every advantage.”
Thus, fans are not happy with the situation at Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen has shown it time and time again, that the Dutchman will do whatever it takes to win. Sergio Perez, on the other hand, has played second fiddle to his teammate. However, in 2023 The Mexican driver will leave no stone unturned in putting a challenge to his teammate. Certainly, a rather exciting rivalry is in store for fans this season.
In case you missed it:
- Christian Horner downplays Sergio Perez’s serious concerns over Max Verstappen snatching the fastest lap