Verstappen refused his team’s request to let teammate Perez overtake him at the F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, in an attempt to earn Perez extra points in his bid to finish second in the F1 standings.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ultimately pipped Perez to second, behind champion Verstappen.

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“It’s not about saying sorry.,” Verstappen said to Sky. 

“It’s more about what happened this year. Something happened. 

“We didn’t communicate well enough to each other and to the team. I gave my stance in Mexico about it. 

“We should have cleared it way sooner, then we wouldn’t have had that issue in Brazil. Like a relationship, communication is key. You always say communication is key in a relationship, and this is like a relationship.”

Verstappen refused to confirm which incident “this year” contributed to his refusal to accept team orders - it has been widely reported that it was his belief that Perez intentionally crashed during Monaco qualifying to deny Verstappen a chance to claim pole position.

The two-time champion’s refusal to help his teammate was notable in part because Perez played a role in the notorious 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale, by making Lewis Hamilton’s race difficult.

“Checo, that evening, did amazingly to hold him up so much,” Verstappen admitted.