Jacques Villeneuve says he cannot understand why Max Verstappen refused to help his Red Bull team and Sergio Perez in the Brazilian Grand Prix, when doing so would have changed nothing for the Dutchman.
In the final laps of last Sunday’s race, Verstappen was asked by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to hand his sixth place position to Perez to permit the Mexican to score two additional points that would allow him to remain second in the Drivers’ standings and ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
But Verstappen refused to comply and told Lambiase after the checkered flag, using an authoritative tone, that he never be requested to cede a position ever again, insisting that he had his “reasons”.
Like most in the paddock, Villeneuve was baffled by Verstappen’s uncompromising attitude which, for the Canadian, didn’t make sense.
“I cannot understand Verstappen’s reaction,” wrote the Canadian in his post-race column for Formule1.nl.
“Why is he bothered about sixth or seventh place? It doesn’t change anything for him. For Pérez and the team it does make a difference and he (Perez) has helped him so much in the past.
“It was not like Max had to give up a podium spot, as in the case of Sainz and Leclerc.”
In a bid to overhaul Perez in the championship, Leclerc twice requested that Ferrari swap the position of its drivers to allow the Monegasque to finish third and gain an edge in the championship over Perez ahead of next weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Instead, Perez and Leclerc will head into the final race of the season at Yas Marina joint second in the Drivers’ standings.
“Red Bull asked for a return for all the work Pérez has done for Verstappen,” added Villeneuve.
“The extra points for Pérez would have been important for the team that would like their drivers to finish first and second.
“I don’t understand why Verstappen didn’t comply.”
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