Max Verstappen ‘owes’ Sergio Perez after the switch at 2022 Spanish GP, feels F1 pundit

Former F1 driver and TV pundit Martin Brundle feels Max Verstappen ‘owes’ his victory at the 2022 Spanish GP to teammate Sergio Perez after the latter agreed to switch positions. In his column for Sky Sports F1, Brundle wrote:

“[Max] Verstappen’s pace had been prodigious too on the new tyres and while of course I haven’t read either of their contracts, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if both of those documents provide for such a switch. But Max owes him [Sergio Perez] one.”

In the early stages of the race, Verstappen was caught out by a gust of wind at Turn 4, leading to him sliding wide and losing positions to Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell.

Verstappen’s radio comms saying ‘sometimes you’ve got to do it the hard way’ after Leclerc retired and Perez was ordered to let him through is gold 😂😂

When Sergio Perez failed to get past George Russell, Red Bull asked him to switch positions with Max Verstappen hoping that the Dutchman could get past the Mercedes. Issues with the DRS on his Red Bull, combined with some stiff resistance from Russell, however, prevented Verstappen from making progress.

Following race leader Charles Leclerc’s DNF sometime later, Red Bull switched Verstappen to an aggressive strategy aimed at undercutting Russell. The undercut worked, but it also put the Dutchman well behind his teammate on track.

Heading into the closing stages of the race, Perez seemed on course to take victory, only for Red Bull to intervene once again in Verstappen’s favor. While the Mexican heeded the team’s call and let his teammate pass, he was clearly unhappy at having the team’s decision.

While sympathetic to Perez’s loss of a potential victory, Martin Brundle felt that Red Bull made the right call given the close nature of the championship. He added, saying:

“While it doesn’t play out well for the team or either driver, if I was on the Red Bull pit wall, I’d have done the same and taken the flak. The speed of [Charles] Leclerc in the Ferrari had been impressive, season-long you’d put your money on Verstappen to take the fight to him most consistently, and as we saw with last year’s championship a seven-point swing between first and second could be critical.”

Sergio Perez was reportedly told that he would get the position back from Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez was reportedly told that he would get the position back when asked to switch with Max Verstappen at the 2022 Spanish GP.

The Mexican felt that he had a solid shot at making his strategy work without the team orders. Speaking to planetf1, he said:

“Well, on the first stint, when I let Max by, I was told I was going to get it back. We were on different strategies. So, when I was back on it, I felt like I could have gone through and probably given a better shot at my strategy, to make it work. But at the end of the day, it turned out to be the three-stop, the way to go today.”

Sergio Perez was one of the few drivers who were on a two-stop strategy at Barcelona. While the Mexican is known for his ability to nurse his tires, the two-stop strategy turned out to be slower compared to the three-stop.

Given that Max Verstappen had an issue with his DRS, Perez could well have held off his teammate to take his second win with Red Bull. After letting his teammate by, Perez eventually pitted for new tires and took the fastest lap as a consolation prize.

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