As reported by PlanetF1, David Coulthard doesn’t have an issue with Max Verstappen deciding not to give Sergio Perez his position after stating that the situation was straightforward as Red Bull ordered and he refused.
Verstappen’s flagrant defiance of a team directive to relinquish a place to Sergio Perez during the Brazilian GP put the Red Bull team in the middle of yet another dramatic situation. He opposed the team’s order on the last lap of the race to surrender P6 to the Mexican driver, who is battling for second position in the Drivers’ championship.
He then crossed the finish line and said: “I told you already last summer, guys, don’t ask that again to me. Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons, and I stand by it.”
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The outraged Perez responded: “This shows who he really is.” 13-time F1 Grand-Prix winner, David Coulthard thinks Red Bull is responsible for all of this when said: “It was an open conversation and there’s nothing to be interpreted – the team made a request, and the driver denied it.” to Mirror Sport.
He added: “The answer was there before, and someone has come knocking again to try to get a different answer. Being consistent in your behavior patterns is a quality – inconsistency is what you need to watch out for, because you don’t know what you’re dealing with.”
He continued by saying that Perez must be thankful to Red Bull even for offering him an opportunity and for providing him with a Formula 1 lifeline when Racing Point rejected him. He said: “Checo was out of Formula 1 with no one knocking on his door. Red Bull gave him the opportunity to come back, and a car that’s nailed on to win races.”
“He’s had a fair crack of the whip to try to beat Max, and he has consistently not delivered on the same level. He has occasionally done so, and I admire the victories he has had.”
According to Coulthard, a driver must be aware of his position within the squad. Before he joined in 1996, Ferrari handed him a contract, but it “stipulated” that he would have to back down to the team’s leading driver, Michael Schumacher.
He decided not choose this path because he wanted to compete on an even field of play with his teammate, only to end up next to Mika Hakkinen at McLaren. Coulthard admitted that the Finn was the faster driver and was the one who could compete for the championship, and he respected team directives when they were given.
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He said: “I was offered a contract with Ferrari before I joined McLaren, and it stipulated that if I was running third and Michael Schumacher fourth, I would be told to move over,”
“I couldn’t bring myself to sign a contract which would mean I’d have to move over all the time, and with McLaren there was an equal opportunity. Then I found out that Mika Hakkinen was the guy that would win two World Championships and I didn’t, because he was quicker and he deserved those titles.
“The reason I took the team orders when I was told to move over for Mika was that I had one other choice, which was to leave. I had no other choice of anywhere else to go, so I chose the path which gave me a car and the opportunity to perform.”
The 51-year-old Scot believes Perez now has a decision to make: accept his position as driver number two, or leave. He added: “If Checo doesn’t like it, then he can leave the team, but where is he going? So, for me, it’s just another one of those sporting decisions.”
“You’ll never change the minds of those who feel Lewis Hamilton was robbed [of the world title] in Abu Dhabi last year, any more than they will give credit to Max for winning the championship, and vice versa. It was just one of those moments that comes and goes, and the teams will handle it.
“The reality is that Max is one of the elite drivers in the world. Elite drivers like the Schumachers and Sennas didn’t pass through their career without examples of stand-offs and disagreements with their teams.
“That’s part of their DNA and part of what makes them successful. To use a line from Jerry Maguire, ‘it’s not show friends, it’s showbusiness’.”