“After All I’ve Done For Him”: Sergio Perez (Rightfully) Disappointed In Max Verstappen
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
— Updated on 15 March 2023

“After All I’ve Done For Him”: Sergio Perez (Rightfully) Disappointed In Max Verstappen

— Updated on 15 March 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

It’s pretty poor form to stab your teammate in the back on any occasion, but to backstab a teammate who was crucial in securing both of your Formula 1 world titles? Legally speaking, here in Australia, that’s what is referred to as a “dog act.” And a dog act is precisely what Red Bull Racing superstar Max Verstappen committed towards Sergio Perez at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Brazil).

Having already secured the 2022 Formula 1 constructor’s world championship, as well as squaring away yet another world championship for young Verstappen with races to spare, all that’s left for Red Bull to achieve is a second-place season finish for Perez, who is currently neck and neck with Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the honour (read: every single point counts).

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But despite the fact that Max Verstappen’s status as this season’s grid king is already mathematically beyond contesting, and the fact he’d only be surrendering a single position (two points difference), taking an extremely minor one for the team and letting Sergio Perez pass clearly wasn’t on the weekend agenda.

“Max, let Checo through, please,” ordered Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

When that fell on deaf ears a la “Multi 21, Seb” and race car #1 crossed the finish line, Lambiase asked: “Max, what happened?”

“I told you already last summer, guys. Don’t ask that again to me, okay? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it,” replied Max Verstappen.

Radio footage was initially excluded from the global broadcast revealed Perez’s thoughts and feelings shortly after the betrayal.

“Yeah, thank you for that, guys, thank you. This shows who he really is.”

Sergio “Checo” Perez

Hugh Bird, Perez’s own race engineer, responded with what practically everyone else was thinking: “I don’t know what to say.”

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner himself could also be heard apologising to Perez later on.

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“Nothing to say, really. After all I’ve done for him, it’s a bit disappointing to be honest,” Sergio Perez told Sky Sports.

“All I’ve done for him,” of course, is a direct reference to his duties as Mexico’s Minister of Defence during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (see: above), as well as the pressure he applied upon Charles Leclerc at the most recent Japanese Grand Prix, causing the latter to incur a penalty which effectively solidified Verstappen’s 2022 world title claim.

In a separate post-race interview, Perez added: “I believe, if he has two championships, it is down to me.”

“I won’t go into what we discussed behind closed doors. The drivers have shaken hands,” said Christian Horner.

“We work as a team, we race as a team. Our priority is to get Checo to be runner-up in the championship. Max has given us that commitment. If Max can help, he will do.”

At the time of this writing, Sergio Perez is tied with Charles Leclerc for equal second in the driver standings at 290 points apiece. Should he close the book on 2022 at next week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a third-place season finish, trailing behind the Monegasque by just two or less points… remember this moment.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]