Red Bull teammates engage in intense battle as Verstappen’s tactical move sparks controversy in the 2023 drivers’ world championship.
Max Verstappen has been accused of tricking his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in order to maintain his lead in the 2023 drivers’ world championship. The two drivers have dominated the season so far, with Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari unable to challenge Red Bull for wins. With only two races completed, it seems the championship is likely to be an in-house battle for the team.
Perez won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Verstappen suffered a driveshaft problem in qualifying. However, in the following race in Jeddah, Verstappen claimed victory and also secured the extra point for the fastest lap, despite Perez claiming he was told not to go for it. Verstappen’s tactical move allowed him to maintain his championship lead by a single point.
The Red Bull team has also been concerned about reliability, with Verstappen suffering a driveshaft failure in qualifying. Both drivers were instructed to protect their cars during the race, but Verstappen still managed to push hard enough to secure the win and the fastest lap.
Despite the controversy surrounding Verstappen’s tactics, Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko praised his driver for his tactical approach to the race. Meanwhile, 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg described Verstappen’s move as “typical Max, always trying to get the maximum out of it.”