Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok feels that Red Bull calling a truce between its two drivers following the 2022 F1 Brazilian GP fiasco is a bit of a facade. He was referring to a recent team photo session where both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen were seen joking and laughing with each other.
Chandhok claimed that some things were still not ideal and that there were underlying problems in Red Bull that could be an issue. He said:
“I think that is putting lipstick on a pig. I think there’s a real problem. What happens when they’re wheel to wheel the next time out and there’s a team order? Does either driver comply? Do they keep this in the back of their minds? There’s been a lot said. It’d be fascinating to hear from Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko] and understand what conversations they had behind the scenes in the last five days to try and resolve the situation. I think when the helmets are on and they are wheel to wheel on track, things could be a little bit different.”
Chandhok elaborated by saying that ultimately the individuals need to decide how they want to proceed as he cast doubt on everything working smoothly at Red Bull between the two drivers. He said:
“I think they need to decide. They need to decide internally as a team and as individuals. Are they prepared to draw a line under everything and say ‘Okay, what’s the past is the past. We’ve all made mistakes, we’re all going to move forward.’ Ultimately, can the drivers accept that? Because they’re the ones in the cockpit in control of those situations. As much as the team can say what they want, they have to decide. I think they can’t wait to have cars on track and so they can stop having to talk about it, and just get on with the action.”
Red Bull’s statement on Brazil incident
Red Bull released a statement on Thursday where it tried to put on a united front and claimed that mistakes made in Brazil would be avoided in the future. The statement read:
“As a team, we made some mistakes in Brazil. We had not envisaged the situation that unfolded on the last lap, and we had not agreed a strategy for such a scenario before the race. Regretfully, Max was only informed at the final corner of the request to give up position without all the necessary information being relayed. This put Max, who has always been an open and fair team player, in a compromising situation with little time to react which was not our intention.”
The Red Bull statement also touched on the fact that the equation between the two drivers is now back to normal as they have hashed out their differences. It stated:
“Following the race Max spoke openly and honestly, allowing for both drivers to resolve any outstanding issues or concerns. The team accept Max’s reasoning; the conversation was a personal matter which will remain private between the team and no further comment will be made.”
It remains to be seen how the partnership evolves, but it’s safe to say that there will be a bone of contention over this in the coming seasons.