Checo Perez was anything but happy after Max Verstappen refused to let him through on the final lap of the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman, who has already won the Formula 1 drivers’ title, didn’t manage to overtake Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc so, in the final stretch of the race, Verstappen was asked by his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, to allow Perez to pass.
“Max, let Checo through please,” Lambiase is heard saying on the radio.
“Max, what happened?”
Without revealing why he didn’t allow Perez overtake him, Verstappen made clear that the engineers were aware of his strategy.
“I told you already last time, you guys don’t ask that again to me, OK?” Verstappen said on radio.
“Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”
Perez’s frustration with Verstappen
The Mexican driver, who is in pursuit of the second spot in the drivers’ standings, was annoyed that Verstappen refused to allow him through, considering he has done so many times in the past.
Engineer Hugh Bird promised Perez that they would “debrief everything afterwards,” but the Mexican could not hide his frustration.
“It shows who he really is,” Perez said on radio.
After the race at Interlagos was over, Perez made clear that he was annoyed by his teammate’s attitude.
“I am very surprised,” Perez declared in an interview.
“I don’t understand his attitude after all I have done for him.
“If he has won two championships it is thanks to me.”
The tight battle for second
Following the race in Sao Paulo, Perez and Leclerc are tied in second spot with 290 points each.
The Mexican driver grabbed six points after finishing seventh in Brazil, with Verstappen finishing sixth.
The two Mercedes drivers dominated, with George Russell winning the race and Lewis Hamilton finishing second.
The two Englishmen were followed by the two Ferraris, as Carlos Sainz made the podium and Charles Leclerc finished fourth.