Red Bull and Max Verstappen have aimed at the online abuse and threats directed at Max Verstappen’s family following his refusal to follow team instructions at last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Verstappen refused to follow his team’s instructions and allowed Sergio Perez to pass on the final lap in Brazil. Perez claimed that he had previously allowed Perez to take over, understanding that his place in the race would be retaken.
Perez said to Sky Sports that he was told to let Verstappen go and that he was going to get the position back. Perez had earlier stated that Verstappen’s actions revealed: “who he was.”
Verstappen, double F1 world champion, addressed the controversy on Thursday. He said: “After that race of course I looked very poor in the media.
“But they also didn’t have a clear view. It is absurd to immediately place me down in this way. They don’t understand how I work in the team or what they think of me. “All the things I have read are disgusting.”
He said that people had “started attacking my family” on social media.
“They threatened my sister, my mum, and my girlfriend as well as my dad. For me, that is way too extreme. It’s okay to have a problem. Don’t try to get rid of my family, it is unacceptable.
He said, “When your sister writes to tell you that it’s becoming too much and that you must do something about it,” he continued. “And then it gets to me because I cannot attack your family.”
Red Bull admits its mistakes
Red Bull stated on Thursday addressing the comments. It stated: “The abuse online towards Max, Checo, and the Team and their families is shocking, saddening, and unfortunately, something that we as a sport are having to deal with depressing regularity. It is not allowed in racing, or society at large. We need to change and improve.
“In the end, this is a sport. We are here to race. Hate mail, death threats, and vitriol directed at extended family members are all unacceptable. We value inclusion and want everyone to be able to participate in our sport. This abuse must stop.
Verstappen addressed the controversy surrounding the weekend’s race.
He stated that it wasn’t about the player’s position. It was about an earlier event in the season.
“I explained it in Mexico already and the team understood it and agreed to it.
We went to Brazil, and I thought we were going to race to try and get the best result. There was a little miscommunication between Saturday and Sunday. Nothing had been discussed with me about a possible swap.
Red Bull acknowledged that the situation was not handled properly and stated in a statement that the matter had been resolved privately.
Brazil was a difficult race for us as a team. The team stated that they had not anticipated the final lap of the race and had not devised a strategy to deal with such an eventuality.
The report stated that Verstappen was told to surrender his position at the corner, but not all of the information.
The statement continued, “This placed Max, who has always acted openly and fairly as a team player,” adding that it was not our intention.
“Max spoke honestly and openly after the race, which allowed both drivers to address any remaining issues or concerns. Max’s reasoning was accepted by the Team. The conversation will remain private between team members and no further comments will be made.
Perez stated to Sky Sports that the matter had been raised internally and that he was ready to “move on” as a team.