Max Verstappen Is Meaner Than a Bull Seeing Red and Sergio Perez Probably Hates Him

Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez 10 photos
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing / Twitter
Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing driver Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Max Verstappen is one of the biggest talents to ever step behind the wheel of a Formula One car. The man was born to perform surgery on the race track, cutting each corner just right while guarding and upgrading his position with the ferocity of a mama bear.
Verstappen started his F1 career back in 2014 with Toro Rosso as a backup driver, before making his full-time driver debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix with just 17 years of life under his belt. At that point, nobody knew this kid would go on to strike fear into the hearts of champions such as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

Then again, new contenders pop up all the time, so we should never truly be surprised when somebody takes the entire world of motorsport by storm. We’re living through one of the greatest ages of F1 in terms of young talent – Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris are all generational talents, capable of winning multiple titles with the right car.

How would we know? Well, it’s simple. If a very young driver can greatly overachieve in a car that’s nothing more than a lowly backmarker, odds are Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes are going to scoop them up ASAP.

Since becoming Red Bull’s clear no.1 driver, Verstappen has never had a teammate capable of winning a title. After Ricciardo left, Red Bull cycled through the likes of Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon, neither of which could handle the pressure of having to raise to Max’s level. That all sort of changed with the arrival of Sergio Perez, who’s clearly not as talented as Verstappen, but he’s got the experience and the bravado to at least keep up with his teammate, this year especially.

Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing / Twitter
Even without Verstappen on the team, Red Bull would have probably still won the 2022 Constructors title, with Perez maybe claiming the Driver’s title – he’s tied in points for second place with Leclerc currently, so it's perfectly plausible he could have been champion as a no.1 driver.

We should also point out that without Perez’s help, Max wouldn’t have caught up to Hamilton last year in Abu Dhabi, and would have in all likelihood not won the title.

This brings us to what took place recently in Brazil, where Perez needed every point he could muster in order to solidify his chances of finishing second in the Driver Standings.

With only a few laps to go, the Mexican agreed to let Verstappen through so that the recently crowned F1 champ could attempt to take a few additional points away from the drivers in front. However, what happened next was an absolute disgrace.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing / Twitter
When it became clear that Verstappen wouldn’t be able to win those extra couple of places on the track, he received clear indications from his race engineer to let Checo [Perez] through so that the latter could regain his previous position and rightful number of points earned. What did Verstappen do? Absolutely nothing. He crossed the finish line ahead of his teammate and when his engineer asked him what happened, the Dutchman replied as follows:

“I told you already last time, you guys don’t ask that again to me, OK? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”

I think Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones may have just respawned as an adult in the real world and is now driving an F1 car for Red Bull. I mean, holy cow, that was cold!

This was such a shocking development that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner felt the need to pop up on the radio and apologize to Perez, with the Mexican driver simply stating that what just happened showed who Verstappen “really is.” You can imagine the disappointment there.

Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing / Twitter
We can speculate all day as to what Max meant when he said, “I gave my reasons and I stand by it.” What possible reasons could you have to not be willing to sacrifice two lowly points which don’t even matter to you, since you’ve already won the title – but points that would help your teammate and your team in the standings?

Personally, the only reason I would entertain without shaking my head too much is that he’s just a maniacal competitor, in a good way. Kind of like a Michael Jordan or a Kobe Bryant, who would rarely (almost never) pass up the opportunity to take the game-winning shot themselves on the basketball court.

Still, competitiveness aside, to sabotage your teammate’s chances in the championship all for two lousy points you don’t even need is not a good look, and I’m very curious to see what this means for both Verstappen and Red Bull in the long run. As of today, we cannot rule out one of the two parties dissolving the relationship sometime in the future, should Max continue to be this disagreeable, putting his own needs before those of the team.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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