Saturday, November 26, 2022

Verstappen says differences with Perez resolved

ABU DHABI ( Associated Press) – Max Verstappen, already this season’s Formula One champion, says he has settled a feud with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez, whom he faces at the end of the season in Abu Dhabi. Ready to help in the final race.

Verstappen condemned some press reports which he considered unfair, as well as some offensive messages on social networks directed at his family.

On Sunday, the Dutch driver defied team orders to pass Mexican Pérez to claim sixth place at the Brazilian Grand Prix. On Thursday Verstappen declined to reveal the reasons.

“They live between me and my team,” he said. “It was something that happened at the start of the season and I already explained it at the Mexican Grand Prix, and the team understood and agreed.

“I was not told anything about a possible change of position before the race in Brazil,” he added. “I think they should have known my answer by now, which was discussed a week ago.”

Since then, Red Bull has held talks with the drivers to resolve the differences, Verstappen said.

For weeks now, the Dutchman has secured his second Drivers’ World Championship. Similarly, Red Bull already have the constructors’ title in the bag

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The team now wanted Pérez to finish second in the championship, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc from Monegasque. Verstappen indicated he would be ready to help in Sunday’s final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

“As a team, we have never been first and second. So if we can achieve that it would be amazing,” Verstappen said. “And of course, if there’s an opportunity for us to help as a team, we’re going to do it, you know?”

Verstappen said that he had been unfairly maligned in the press, and that he and his family had been the subject of derogatory comments on social media following the race in Brazil.

“To be honest, being a part of all this during this time makes you sick. At the end of the day I haven’t done anything wrong. There is just a misunderstanding among people about what is happening,” he said.

Red Bull defended Verstappen, who can extend his record of wins in a season on Sunday if he takes his 15th win. The team stressed that its main driver “is open and knows how to work as a team.”

“As a team, we made some mistakes in Brazil,” Red Bull said in a statement. “We have not envisioned the situation that started in the last lap and we have not agreed on strategy for such a scenario before the race.

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“Unfortunately, Max was only informed at the last corner about the request to leave his position without sharing all the necessary information. This put Max, who has always been an open competitor and knows what it takes to work as a team. How to work in a compromising position with little time to respond, which was not our intention.

Red Bull insisted it accepted “Max’s reasoning” about the incident and condemned the derogatory comments on social media against the two drivers, their families and the team.

Red Bull said, “The death threats, hate messages and disrespect towards family members are deplorable.” “We value inclusion and want a safe place for everyone to work and enjoy our sport. The abuse must stop.”

Asked if those humiliations have led him to question his future in Formula One, Vertpen said: “To be honest it’s not just about that, but when I’m 40 I will I won’t be here, that’s for sure.”

Verstappen is only 25 years old.

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