Max Verstappen hits out at 'bullsh*t' media after Brazil Grand Prix fallout
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Max Verstappen has hit out at 'bullsh*t' media reports, following his 'refusal' to move out of the way for Sergio Perez at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Despite the fact that both the drivers' and constructors' world championships have been secured by Red Bull Racing for a number of weeks the world champions still managed to add to the drama of the season last weekend.
During the race at Interlagos last Sunday, Verstappen and Perez were well away from the race win, on a very rare occasion considering how the campaign has played out.
All that was left towards the end of the race was to make sure Perez finished as high up as possible, in his own battle to finish second in the drivers' standings, ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
With the world champion ahead of his teammate, it was going to need some team orders for the Dutchman to move over and let Perez through.
The radio message came through on the final lap for Verstappen to move over but he failed to do so, leading to the team to ask 'what happened' on the radio.
"I told you already... Are we clear about that. I gave my reasons and I stand by it," the answer came back from the 25-year-old.
There's been much said in the fallout since the incident, with plenty of reports that it was due to an incident at Monaco, where Verstappen is said to have felt his teammate crashed on purpose in qualifying, guaranteeing Perez would be on pole position.
Now Verstappen has hit out at reports, calling it 'bullsh*t' and called out 'sickening' social media abuse.
"It was about something that happened earlier in the season and I already explained that [to Red Bull] in Mexico," Verstappen said in his interview.
"The team understood and agreed. We went to Brazil and I just thought: ‘We’re just going to race, try to get the best possible result.'
"And we had a bit of a miscommunication on the Saturday and Sunday – nothing had been said to me about a potential swap.
“It only came into that last lap that it was said on the radio. They should’ve known my response already from what I said the week before.
"After that race [in Brazil], we had some good discussions – we put everything on the table and everything has been solved.
“In hindsight, we should’ve had that conversation earlier because I have never been a bad team-mate to anyone.
“I’ve always been very helpful and the team knows that. I always put the team up front because at the end of the day it is a team effort. I think what we learned from that is we have to be a little bit more open and we just have to communicate better to each other.
“But, after that race, I looked very bad in the media. They didn’t have the clear picture. But to immediately put me down like that is pretty ridiculous to be honest.
“Because they don’t know how I work within the team. And what the team appreciates about me. So, all the things that I’ve read are pretty disgusting.
"And also, even more than that, they started attacking my family, they were threatening my sister and my mum, my girlfriend, my dad – and for me, that goes way too far when you don’t have the facts of what actually was going on. And that definitely has to stop.
"If you have a problem with me, that’s fine, but don’t go after my family because that is just unacceptable.
"We move on. Honestly I have a great relationship with Checo.
"But I don’t understand when people don’t have the full picture to immediately start attacking me like that. I hope one day they actually understand what was going on because it’s just unacceptable behaviour [from] so many people.
"Also, in this paddock to be honest. It’s not only fans, but a lot of people what they have been writing about me is just ridiculous."
With Leclerc finishing fourth in Sao Paulo, Verstappen sixth and Perez seventh, the two contenders to finish second are level on points.
Second place in the drivers and constructors standings will be decided at the final race in Abu Dhabi this weekend, fortunately nothing controversial ever happens there...