Red Bull admit they ‘made some mistakes’ in Brazil regarding team orders
Red Bull have released a statement saying they “made some mistakes in Brazil”, referring to the incident where Max Verstappen chose not to return P6 to his team mate Sergio Perez in the closing stages of the race.
Perez lost places on medium tyres and ceded P6 to Verstappen in a bid to pry P5 off Fernando Alonso. When asked to return the place after a failed attempt to pass the Alpine, Verstappen did not comply.
It meant Perez heads to this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix level on points with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, rather than two points ahead.
Verstappen and Perez discussed the incident with the team in the moments after the race, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner reiterating Verstappen’s comments that the world champion would “fully support” Perez’s bid for P2 in Abu Dhabi.
READ MORE: Horner maintains Verstappen will ‘fully support’ Perez bid for P2 after team orders controversy in Sao Paulo
On Thursday in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull released a statement explaining how events unfolded with regards to the request made to Verstappen and thereafter.
“As a team we made some mistakes in Brazil. 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,” they said.
“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.
READ MORE: Verstappen on his ‘reasons’ for not obeying team orders in Sao Paulo
“The events that followed from a social media point of view are completely unacceptable,” the statement went on. “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.
“There is no place for it in racing or society as a whole and we need to do and be better. At the end of the day this is a sport, we are here to race. 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.”