The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix left us with feelings similar to those of the first Grand Prix of the season, as expected, Red Bull drivers are still in their private league and intend to continue dominating this season, which inevitably reduces the number of contenders for the title for two: Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez.
Competitors, for now almost tied in points after two races and between which cracks like the ones we saw last year between the two can be seen, especially after the São Paulo GP. Once again, the tension between the two and the team’s climate became absurdly rare, a consequence once again of the arrogance of Max Verstappen, who did not carry out the team’s orders despite the insistence and clarity of the messages.
Max Verstappen refuses to follow orders from Red Bull
In this way, the world champion repeated an attitude very similar to that of the last GP in São Paulo, when he did not want to help Checo. On this occasion, when Max Verstappen won second place after overtaking Fernando Alonso, the Red Bull team gave the order to interrupt the battle between its two pilots, in the same way that happened in Bahrain, but this time it was not possible, since Max returned to not paying attention to the messages from his engineer, who kept asking him to slow down, without getting any response from the Champion:
“Ok Max, you exceeded track limits at turn 23 again, we would like to run 33.0”
“Ok Max, follow target 33.0”
“Max confirms 33.0?”
“Target 33.0, target 33.0”
“Max target is 33.0”
Max Verstappen was insisted by his engineer, Gianpiero, who received as his only response times 4 tenths faster than those defined by the team, with a view to ‘sleep’ the race, with Checo winning.
In this context, the controversial conversation that could be heard on the broadcast took place, in which Pérez received the same order as his companion. When they ask Checo to go up to 33.0, the Mexican asks about Max’s goal, which at that moment is rolling to 32.6.
“So why is the target 33.0?”, asked ’11’ when he found out his teammate’s times. Finally, the team had no choice but to let Pérez race too, all as a result of Max Verstappen’s new disobedience.
Max Verstappen ‘stole’ the fastest lap from Checo Pérez
Something similar happened with regard to the fastest lap of the race, which was initially set for Checo Pérez, as the end of the race approached and with Red Bull’s guidelines not to push. However, once again it was the Dutch driver who abused his power within Red Bull to take liberties:
“What is the fastest lap?”, asked the Dutchman at dawn on the last lap of the race.
“We’re not worried about that for now, Max.”, replied his engineer in a similar tone to the one employed previously.
“yes but i do I am”, replied Verstappen, who finally received the information from the team and set the best time to save the furniture.
Needless to say, this whole situation did not please Checo, who did not hesitate to criticize Max’s behavior either on the radio or later in a press conference, which adds to the uncomfortable situation that they once again have to manage in the upper echelons. from the Austrian team, from where both Helmut Marko and Christian Horner offered different versions of what happened, which in the end were revealed after the revelation of the complete radio conversation between the Red Bull wall and its drivers.