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After a few wheel-to-wheel moments during the first lap of the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez downplayed the significance of the incidents and explained them from their point of view.
After locking out the front row of the grid with Verstappen at the front, the Red Bull drivers battled on the way to Turn 1. Perez braked later and took the lead, but his teammate fought back on the exit, before getting pushed on the grass by the Mexican. Verstappen was not best pleased, as he made apparent via team radio when he said this:
He pushed me off man, what the ****?
The championship leader fought back though, braking deep on the inside at Turn 3, forcing Perez wide. Perez tried to get back past at Turn 4, but Verstappen resisted and held onto first place, while his teammate lost out to Nico Hulkenberg as well. This time, it was Perez who had comments to make on the radio:
What’s wrong with Max, mate?
The Dutchman then had a commanding race, winning by a margin of 21 seconds to the other Red Bull, which came home in second. After the race, the winner made more comments over the radio regarding the first lap:
The exit of Turn 1 was not really nice. I could have had a really big shunt. We need to have a chat about that, it was not OK.
After the chequered flag fell, the two men were seen chatting in parc ferme to clear things up. Moments later, they spoke to Naomi Schiff in the post-race interviews. Sergio Perez had this to say:
It was a good start, we had a good start and a bit of a fight with Max and I lost a position to Nico [Hulkenberg] which he was very strong in the first few laps, so it was quite hard to get by him.
I think Max was angry that I went into Turn 2, but I didn’t see him there. I just had a very bad Turn 1, so I tried to protect but once I realised that he was there I opened up the door and gave the place back into Turn 2.
But it is all fine. We just spoke about it, it was because of the visibility. Even though we were 1-2, it was very bad the visibility out there.
Then Max Verstappen commented on the subject, also in the post-race interview with Schiff.
It was a little bit of a hairy moment out of Turn 1 and of course when you get forced on to the grass, it is very slippery. But we managed to keep the car under control and from there once we just did our race again.
Tomorrow, the two Red Bull drivers will probably have very contrasting races. While Verstappen will start upfront and will look to dominate once again, to give his team the sweep in its home event, Perez will start from fifteenth. He had a difficult session on Saturday evening, having three timed laps deleted during Q2 and thus was eliminated.
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