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Max Verstappen

Verstappen calls for Red Bull talks as Perez tension escalates

The duo nearly hit each other twice on the opening lap of the Austrian GP Sprint.

Max Verstappen has urged Red Bull to sit down and talk over tension between himself and teammate Sergio Perez after two near-misses on the opening lap of the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

The Dutchman lost out to Perez into Turn 1 in wet conditions at the Red Bull Ring, with Perez taking a tighter line to the inside.

But with worse traction from the line he took, Perez was forced to go onto the defensive against Verstappen on the uphill run to Turn 3.

Two-time champion Verstappen was forced onto the grass and although he regathered the moment, a move up the inside at Turn 3 almost ended in disaster as he slid wide and forced Perez off the road.

Speaking to his team over radio on his cool-down lap, Verstappen said: "A good race, just the exit of Turn 1, that was not really nice.

"It could have been a really big shunt. We need to have a chat about that, it was really not ok."

Hanging in there

Speaking after the Sprint, Verstappen said: "It was a little bit of a hairy moment out of Turn 1 and when you get forced onto the grass, it is very slippery.

"But we managed to keep the car under control and from there onwards, we just did our race."

Verstappen ultimately took the Sprint victory by over 20 seconds from Perez after remaining on the Intermediates in drying conditions.

"The start wasn't ideal, a bit of wheelspin, but after lap one, once I got into the lead it was good, just managing the tyres knowing it wasn't going to rain anymore - 24 laps on an Intermediate is quite a lot," added Verstappen.

"They were hanging in there. The last five laps, the Slicks were quite a bit faster but for us, so far in the lead, it didn't make sense for us to pit.

"We just hung in there."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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