Sergio Perez reveals that his Red Bull F1 teammate, Max Verstappen, was filled with fury during their intense opening-lap duel. With a bold move, Perez seized the lead from the reigning world champion at the first corner, but it was the thrilling encounter on the approach to Turn 3 that left Verstappen feeling “angry.”
In a captivating battle for supremacy, Max Verstappen showcased his fighting spirit by regaining the lead from Sergio Perez at Turn 3. However, in his determination to reclaim the top spot, Verstappen’s manoeuvre pushed Perez off track, resulting in the Mexican losing a position to Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Despite the intense on-track rivalry, Perez showcased his resilience and delivered a remarkable performance, ultimately securing a commendable second-place finish behind his teammate.
Expressing his frustration, Perez voiced his discontent with Verstappen over the team radio. On the other hand, Verstappen criticized Perez’s move out of Turn 1, describing it as “really not OK.”
“It was a good start,” Perez said. “A bit of a fight with Max – ended up losing a place to Nico. He was very strong in the first few laps and it was hard to get by him.
“I think Max was angry that I went into Turn Two. But I didn’t see him there. I had a bad Turn One, so I tried to protect.
“One I realised he was there, I opened the door and gave the place back into Turn Two. But it was all fine, we spoke about it. Although we were 1-2, it was very bad the visibility out there.”
Max Verstappen vividly described the intense moments as risky, However, demonstrating their professionalism and sportsmanship, Verstappen and Sergio Perez engaged in a constructive conversation after the race, allowing them to address the incident and swiftly move forward.
“The start wasn’t ideal, a bit of wheelspin. But after lap 1 when we got back into the lead it was just about managing the tyres, knowing if it wasn’t going to rain any more that 24 laps on intermediates was quite long.
“The slicks were quite a bit faster the last five laps but for us so far in the lead it didn’t make sense to pit. We just hung in there.
“It was a little bit of a hairy moment out of Turn One. When you get forced onto the grass it’s very slippery but we managed to keep control and from there we just did our race again.”
With a display of mutual understanding and respect, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez downplayed their thrilling first-lap tussle during the press conference. Recognizing the competitive nature of the sport, the talented teammates showcased their camaraderie and focused on the challenges that lie ahead.