Analysing if Sergio Perez Helped Max Verstappen Win Formula 1 Championships After Brazil GP Row
- Sergio Perez was understandably bitter with Max Verstappen after his Red Bull teammate denied him an opportunity to go ahead at the Sao Paulo GP
- Perez afterwards claimed that Verstappen owes him for the role he has played in the Belgian-Dutch driver's two championships
- Perez's claims are not farfetched, particularly considering the 2021 season, but this season, he might be wrong
The Brazil Grand Prix in Sao Paulo over the weekend was rocked by claims of Max Verstappen's selfishness.
The reigning Formula 1 champion ignored a team order to allow his Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez to pass.
Perez is locked in a battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for the second position and after the race, 'Checo' was lost for words on why Verstappen denied him a chance at a better finish.
The 'After all I have done for him', phrase from the Mexican driver has now become famous. The statement could be loosely translated to mean that Perez has had a hand in Verstappen's two titles.
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How true is Perez's claim? Has he really played a part in Verstappen's triumphs, or is the Dutch driver a one-man army? Well, be the judge.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
In 2021, Verstappen was embroiled in one of the most closely-contested championships in history with Lewis Hamilton. The championship was decided on the final day in Abu Dhabi, after a controversial safety car rule was introduced.
Perez had initially held off Hamilton, making him lose 10 valuable seconds. Hamilton decided to skip a crucial pit stop to avoid losing his position.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix
In Azerbaijan last year, Perez did excellent work shielding Hamilton from getting to Verstappen in P1. However, Verstappen suffered a burst tyre, resulting in the red flag.
After the restart, Perez forced Hamilton into using the wrong brake mode on turn 1. This forced the Brit to the escape road and he dropped to last in the race, thereby getting zero points down from a potential win.
Fastest lap bonus points
Perez also got the fastest lap bonus points from Hamilton, which inadvertently helped his teammate. In Turkey, for example, Perez defended stoically to keep Hamilton in fifth while Verstappen got second.
In 2022, Verstappen led a dominant season and Perez would perhaps be wrong to argue he has had a huge impact. Verstappen's dominance has been largely due to Mercedes and Ferrari's breakdowns, especially engine failures and poor strategy by the latter.
Brazil GP fiasco
Sports Brief had earlier reported that controversy and lack of team spirit has hit the Red Bull camp, after Max Verstappen deliberately refused to let his teammate Sergio Perez through.
The incident, which happened at the Brazilian Grand Prix, has left a majority of fans angry at Verstappen's decision.
Perez is currently locked in a two-way battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for position 2 in the F1 Championship standings.