Sergio Perez said that he's not about to apologise to Jenson Button for his aggressive move on his team mate in last week's F1 Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.
The two met after the race to talk about the incident that occurred midway through last week's race, which left Button visibly annoyed by his young team mate's driving.
"Important chat yesterday with Checo Perez to clear the air," Button tweeted afterwards. "As a team we will move forward and live to fight another day. Roll on Barcelona."
But Perez has now made it clear that while he had expressed his regrets to the team, there had been no apologies to Button himself for the contact he made with the rear of Button's McLaren. The cars later touched wheels while the two were vying for position in an increasingly heated mid-race spat between the pair.
"It was said in various publications that I apologised to Jenson, but it wasn't like that," said the Mexican racer. "I didn't apologise to him because I didn't think it was necessary.
"We owed an apology to the team and that's what we talked about," he continued. "We apologised to the team because we risked a lot and we were both very aggressive. But no - at no moment did I apologise [to Button]."
But he insisted: "My relationship with Jenson is still okay."
Perez said that he understood how heated things got during and immediately after the race, which might combine to give a misleading impression to the public of team mates going to war when that definitely wasn't the case at McLaren.
"I think that the criticism took place right after the end of the race," he said. "We had the chance to talk, which was very good for me, the team and for Jenson."
Button wasn't getting any support over his clash with Perez amongst media analysis. Even compatriots such as F1 veteran John Watson were telling him he shoudln't complain or expect help from the team principal on the pit wall all th e time.
Watson told BBC Sport
on Friday that "If Perez gives Button a difficult time, it's up to Button to come to terms with it,” adding: "It's a fact of life. He can't expect Martin Whitmarsh to tell Perez to back off." (See separate story