Brundle on Verstappen snub: 'You still need friends and respect'

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In the wake of last Sunday's clash in the Brazilian Grand Prix between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Martin Brundle says the Dutchman is running out of respect and friends in F1.

In the closing stages of last weekend's race at Interlagos, Verstappen was asked by Red Bull to let Perez pass him and seize sixth place to reap the points benefit of the position to maintain the Mexican's runner-up spot in the Drivers' standings ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

But the request fell on deaf ears. After the checkered flag, when asked by his team why he had not conceded the position, Verstappen alluded to his own "reasons".

After the race, a crisis meeting at Red Bull brought together Verstappen and Perez together, with team boss Christian Horner clearing the air with all parties and diffusing the situation.

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But in his post-race column for Sky Sports, Brundle questioned Verstappen's authoritative and uncompromising attitude, suggesting that his assailing approach to certain matters was not serving his interests.

"He refused due to some historical reason that had apparently already been discussed. I believe this to be over antics during qualifying back in Monaco," Brundle explained in his column for Sky Sports.

"Max will also no doubt remember how Sergio held up Lewis in Abu Dhabi last year, which played a key role in Lewis not being able to pit for fresh tyres under the safety car, and how he fought Lewis so hard in Baku along with other examples which helped Max seal the 2021 title.

"I believe he called him a "legend" back then."

Brundle admitted that a fair amount of aggression between competitors - and even teammates - is to be expected, but the former Grand Prix driver also underscored the benefits of choosing one's personnel battles.

"This is not a popularity contest, it's the brutal world of F1," said Brundle.

"But you still need friends and respect and giving Sergio a meagre sixth place when the championship is already in his pocket would have cost Max nothing.

"It's the second boomerang in two races which has come back to hit Max pretty hard," concluded Brundle, alluding to Red Bull and Verstappen's boycott of Sky F1 the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

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