Former Red bull driver Mark Webber believes Max Verstappen was taken by surprise by the team orders in Brazil.
The Brazilian GP incident involving Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez garnered a lot of attention. The commotion led to some harsh words and an apparent rift between the two drivers.
Max Verstappen denied teammate Sergio Perez 6th place on the final lap. At that moment in the championship, the P6 position was irrelevant for Verstappen. The Dutchman had already secured his second title. However, the two extra points of P6 mattered a lot to Perez who was still fighting with Charles Leclerc for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Verstappen’s denial of direct team orders gained a lot of speculation, controversies, and criticism. The act was considered childish by many fans.
Mark Webber keeps his views
Ex-red bull driver Mark Webber experienced an intra-team rivalry and rift with then-teammate Sebastian Vettel. Their rivalry gained a lot of attention and was a hot topic. Speaking to Speedcafe, Webber said:
“Team principals are always managing dynamics between the drivers, and it is very easy to handle that when you’re not battling for wins or championship position.
“For the top four or top five, there’s generally no real friction between the drivers and management have an easier ride on it.“
“But obviously, when there’s championships or championship positions at stake between the two drivers, the team principal goes on a journey, too – they haven’t got all the answers.“
“In our day, it was the first experience of it for Christian, Sebastian, myself and Red Bull itself. They were some challenging times, but that is the nature of the beast.”
Talking about the Brazilian GP incident, Webber said:
“In hindsight, there are decisions that you could do differently and better for the team or one driver in particular, but the sport is brilliant at ‘hindsight problems’, making sure they scrutinise everyone making decisions.“
“They can’t press the pause button in the middle of the race. The communication with Max in Brazil seemed to surprise him somewhat.“
“It was dealt with internally post-race. Trying to talk to the driver with the helmet on in the last laps of the race to try and get the full picture of what was going on is not always easy.“
“Not always does the media need to know either. There are some things that should remain private within the teams.”
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