We might be getting ready for the season finale in Abu Dhabi, but Red Bull clearly want to issue a final statement on last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. After the chequered flag was waved at Interlagos, F1 Twitter went into meltdown after team radio emerged of Max Verstappen appearing to refuse team orders.
As Max was on better tyres, he was allowed to pass teammate Sergio Perez to try and take the battle to the Ferraris during the final stint of the race. However, it was understood Max would give the position back to Sergio if he couldn’t pass by the end of the race, as Checo is currently fighting to finish second in the drivers’ championship.
“As a team we made some mistakes in Brazil,” the Red Bull statement said.
“We had not envisaged the situation that unfolded on the last lap and we had not agreed a strategy for such a scenario before the race. Regretfully, Max was only informed at the final corner of the request to give up position without all the necessary information being relayed. This put Max, who has always been an open and fair team player, in a compromising situation with little time to react which was not our intention.
“Following the race Max spoke openly and honestly, allowing for both drivers to resolve any outstanding issues or concerns. The team accept Max’s reasoning, the conversation was a personal matter which will remain private between the team and no further comment will be made.”
Red Bull also used their statement to take aim at the predictably hostile and abusive social media storm that inevitably followed the team orders row in Brazil.
“The events that followed from a social media point of view are completely unacceptable,” Red Bull’s statement continued. “The abusive online behaviour towards Max, Checo, the team and their respective families is shocking and saddening and unfortunately is something that we as a sport are having to address with depressing regularity.
“Death threats, hate mail, vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable. We value inclusion and want a safe space for everyone to work in and enjoy our sport. The abuse needs to stop.”
What a drama