Max Verstappen delivers verdict on Spanish GP win as Sergio Perez demands Red Bull talks

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Max Verstappen was delighted to overcome further Red Bull reliability issues to win the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. However, all might not be well in the camp after Sergio Perez’s frustrated reaction to a team order to surrender the race lead to Verstappen.

After winning his fourth race of the 2022 season, Verstappen expressed his happiness after a challenging start involving issues with the DRS system that affected his qualifying session on Saturday. The Dutchman also went off the track on turn four but recovered to help secure a ‘great result’ for Red Bull.

He told Sky Sports: “Yeah, of course, I went off. I lost the rear and went off. I was in the train, and I tried to pass, but my DRS wasn’t always working. That made it very tough, but we managed to get ahead again and do our own race and eventually win the race. It was a difficult beginning but a good end.

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“I tried to stay focused; of course, it’s not nice when stuff like that happens, but I’m very happy to win and very happy for Checo [teammate Perez]. It was a great result for the team. Yeah, I think [the soft tyres worked well]. I think the behaviour of the car was good on the softs, but also on the medium, I think it was working quite well.”

Perez was leading the race after passing George Russell on lap 31 but after Verstappen pitted for the third and final time, the Dutchman re-entered in second and was gaining a second every lap on his teammate. As the race neared its final 15 laps, Red Bull ordered Perez to allow Verstappen past, which he obeyed.

However, he wasn’t pleased with the decision and responded: “That’s very unfair, but OK.” And after both drivers crossed the line to secure a one-two finish, it seemed the moment was still playing on Perez’s mind as he told the team radio: “I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later.”

Despite Perez’s discontent, Red Bull have enjoyed a successful weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and are now leading both standings ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. Verstappen leads Charles Leclerc, who retired on Sunday, by six points, while Red Bull have opened up a 26-point lead on Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.

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