Sergio Perez chastised by Christian Horner for Max Verstappen antics as Red Bull exit looms nearer

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s wheel-to-wheel tussle just after the Sprint race in Austria began has angered the team’s hierarchy.

Although no visible damage was caused as a result of the two drivers locking horns, it is being speculated that it has signalled the end of Perez’ tenure as a Red Bull driver.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit:
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit:

IT may come as a surprise to fans that the team has taken such a strong stance in the aftermath of the event, especially considering the two drivers notched a 1-2 finish in the sprint race, but fears remain that Perez is not content playing second fiddle to Verstappen.

It could all have turned rather ugly as Perez almost squeezed Verstappen into the grass, but the Mexican maintained that he was not aware that his teammate was alongside him.

For his part, Verstappen has said that he trusts the words of Checo.

Perez may have got a public vote of confidence from Verstappen after the incident, but Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko was left far from impressed with what he saw manifest between the two drivers.

In conversation with Sky Sports Germany, Marko said: “Sending the other person out onto the grass in wet conditions is anything but good teamwork.”

Long-term F1 fans will remember the animosity between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that saw the team lose out on valuable points during the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when similar circumstances unfolded.

With the race taking place in wet conditions on that occasion, there was a high possibility of the drivers losing control of their cars.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was also reportedly enraged at how Perez conducted himself during the sprint.

Horner has long maintained that both drivers are free to battle it out for top honours, just as long as they don’t hamper each other’s race and leave enough space for each other on the track.

It has been reported that Horner had a heated dressing down with Perez after the events that unfolded during the sprint race.

BBC reporter Andrew Benson believes that Verstappen may have said all is well publicly, but those are far from his true feelings.

Verstappen is known to keep hold of personal grudges and exacting revenge at some point in the season may well be in his mind, according to Benson.

The 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix is perhaps the finest example of when Verstappen chose to take revenge on Perez.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Credit:
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Credit:

Chasing P2 in the drivers’ standings, Perez was hoping Verstappen would make way for him during the race. However, the Dutchman still had a grudge against Perez owing to what had transpired in Monaco the same season and refused team instructions to allow Checo through.

It makes matters worse for Perez as his relationship with Verstappen is far from healthy and with his form being plagued by inconsistency, it seems highly likely that a new partner will line up alongside Max next season.

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