Verstappen-Perez anger revealed - but a key talking point ignored by Netflix

Netflix showed fascinating footage of Max Verstappen’s fury at his teammate Sergio Perez in Monaco, but did not film anything about their explosive row at the end of 2022.
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post qualifying FIA Press
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red…

The fifth series of ‘Drive To Survive’ captured Verstappen storming past Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko, furious that Perez caused a red flag in qualifying for last year’s F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Later in 2022, Verstappen would cite Monaco as the reason that he was unwilling to follow team orders to assist Perez in an unexpected bust-up, but this talking point was ignored by the Netflix show.

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F1 champion Verstappen, after previously being critical of ‘Drive To Survive’, was partaking in the series for the first time.

He said in an interview with Netflix about Perez’s crash: “It was not a great moment for the team. There was a red flag when Checo had ‘a moment’.

“It is annoying but what can you do…”

After his fury in the paddock was filmed, team principal Christian Horner was told: “That will have pissed him off, Verstappen.”

Horner replied: “It definitely upset him, yeah.”

Horner told Netflix about Perez’s crash: “He got greedy and made a mistake.”

Perez said: “Qualifying didn’t go according to plan. Really sad. It’s a frustrating situation. The team is very down, things are not great.”

Marko was filmed after Monaco qualifying saying: “Now we have to hope for rain.”

Horner replied: “Yeah.”

Perez would go on to win the F1 Monaco Grand Prix and would sign a new contract with Red Bull afterwards.

Shockingly later in a season where Red Bull would win the constructors’ championship and steer Verstappen to the drivers’ championship, their No 1 driver bluntly refused team orders to let Perez pass in Brazil to help him claim second-place in the F1 standings. 

However, this moment and the fall-out were ignored by ‘Drive To Survive’.

Race winner Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Monaco Grand
Race winner Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium…

The pressure that Perez was under in the early stages of 2022 was detailed.

The Mexican had played a key role at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by holding up Lewis Hamilton, and allowing Verstappen to make up time.

But Horner said in a Netflix interview at the start of last season: “Checo knows that, in this business, decisions aren’t made with the heart. They are made with the head.

“People have short memories. He has one year left on his deal and, if by spring he isn’t cutting it, then we’ll have to look outside.

“Checo said to me that having Max as a teammate is a head-f*** because you look at the data and he’s doing it faster. You think ‘how the hell did he do that!’

“At 32 years of age, he is in the senior years of his career. You start to see cracks.

“Sometimes as a team principal you have to make big calls.

“Probably half the grid would like to be in the team. Whether it be Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris could be on the market, even Yuki Tsunoda.”

Verstappen said to Netflix: “If you are not performing, you’re out. There are a lot of talents out there who deserve a shot.”

Perez admitted his concern: “Red Bull can have any driver, basically, that they want. I am a bit worried. But I just think about delivering. I hope Red Bull appreciate it.”

But then came the F1 Monaco Grand Prix last year, which Perez won to earn a new deal.

This season, the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Perez will enter the season-opening F1 Bahrain Grand Prix looking like the drivers to beat after an ominous showing at preseason testing.

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