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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull's Brazil team orders 'surprised' Verstappen - Webber

Mark Webber was at the centre of a few Red Bull team order controversies in his team - and says the team's latest should have been handled better.

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To news overview © XPBimages

Mark Webber believes Red Bull's Formula 1 team order in the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix "surprised" Max Verstappen but that the team could have handled the situation better.

In the closing laps of last season's race at Interlagos, Sergio Perez waived Verstappen through as the latter had better pace to try and hunt down Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc.

The move was made in an attempt to get Verstappen to take points away from Perez's rival for P2 in the Drivers' Championship, Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen failed, and then ignored multiple team orders to allow Perez back through for sixth place and the extra two points that position would bring for the Mexican racer.

However, Verstappen refused saying he had his reasons - which are widely believed to be his unhappiness at Perez's crash in Monaco qualifying which sealed him third on the grid and Verstappen fourth, and by extension victory in the Grand Prix.

Perez denied he'd crashed deliberately when asked by RacingNews365.com, and Webber - a veteran of multiple Red Bull team order sagas - believes the request had come as a surprise for the two-time World Champion.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Webber on Verstappen surprise

During his stint at Red Bull, Webber had multiple clashes with then-teammate Sebastian Vettel, most famously of all the multi-21 saga from Malaysia 2013.

Vettel ignored a request for his car - Car #1 - to stay behind Webber's Car #2 after the final pitstops, racing and overtaking the Australian for the win.

Webber subsequently retired from F1 at the end of the season and believes that while such a thing could be understood at the time, a repeat nine years later should not have happened.

"Team principals are always managing dynamics between the drivers, and it is very easy to handle that when you're not battling for wins or championship position," Webber told Speedcafe.

"For the top four or top five, there's generally no real friction between the drivers and management have an easier ride on it [but it changes] when there's championships or championship positions at stake between the two drivers.

"The team principal goes on a journey too - they haven't got all the answers.

"In our day, it was the first experience of it for Christian, Sebastian, myself and Red Bull itself. They were some challenging times, but that is the nature of the beast.

"In hindsight, there are decisions that you could do differently and better for the team or one driver in particular, but [F1] is great at hindsight.

"[The team] can't press the pause button in the middle of the race. The communication with Max in Brazil seemed to surprise him somewhat.

"It was dealt with internally post-race. Trying to talk to the driver with the helmet on in the last laps of the race to try and get the full picture of what was going on is not always easy.

"There some things that should remain private within the teams."

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