Max Verstappen may have broken a key detail in his Red Bull contract by ignoring team orders at the Brazilian Grand Prix, according to F1 legend Hans-Joachim Stuck. The former March and Shadow driver has claimed Verstappen’s antics may have breached “the first commandment” on his team’s wishlist.
Stuck, 71, also questioned Verstappen’s mentality after refusing to follow a direct order in Sao Paulo. Red Bull had asked Verstappen to slow down to let Sergio Perez through on the final lap to score more points in his championship battle with Charles Leclerc.
But, Verstappen refused to let the Mexican pass and kept hold of his advantage to finish ahead. After the race, Verstappen launched an angry response to race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase and stressed he had his reasons for ignoring the message.
Speaking to Eurosport Germany, Stuck said: “From my point of view, it had to do with a lack of discipline. The first commandment in Formula 1 is to follow the team’s instructions unconditionally, because the drivers have signed a contract.”
Stuck added that he would have penalised Verstappen for his actions if he had been at the Red Bull helm. Stuck’s comments come as team boss Christian Horner praised his drivers for quickly clearing the air after Interlagos.
He admitted Verstappen and Perez held a meeting after the race as he praised the two stars as a “phenomenal pairing” for the team. Horner added: “They’re both pretty grown-up individuals and they both have an open relationship with each other.
“So whenever there is an issue, it gets discussed, it gets put on the table and you talk it through.
“I think communication is always the best way to deal with any issue and you know, Sergio is an experienced guy, he’s been around a long time. He’s a very rounded guy and Max [is] very much a straight shooter as well, and the two of them have always enjoyed a decent relationship and I just see that continuing.”
The incident did not cost Perez a shot at securing P2 in the Drivers’ Championship as he finished behind Leclerc in Abu Dhabi. However, the Red Bull star attacked Verstappen after the race, hinting the feud showed off the reigning champion’s true character. (Express)