Max Verstappen has explained why Red Bull did not make a call for him to drop back in order to help Sergio Perez close in on Charles Leclerc in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Perez was chasing down Leclerc in the latter stages of the race as they battled for P2 – both in terms of race position and in the World Championship – while Verstappen held the lead up ahead.
Despite getting the gap down to less than two seconds, Perez ultimately failed to catch Leclerc and had to settle for P3.
When asked after the race if there had ever been a call for him to drop back to try to hold up Leclerc and thus help Perez to make a move, Verstappen admitted that this had not been a consideration.
Verstappen explains why he wasn't dropped back
"No, there was not, but also that is quite a tricky call to make," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"You also don't want to end up… Of course, you can possibly block, but is that fair racing? I think [it's] not the nicest way, going out of the season like that."
While Verstappen was not in the throes of the action, he still managed to keep an eye on what was happening with his teammate.
"It looked like Checo was catching him enough to try and actually get a move, but then he lost quite a bit of time with that bit of a fuss between… was it Pierre [Gasly] and Alex [Albon], probably?" the Dutchman continued.
"[He] lost quite a bit of time with that, because I was watching the screen!"
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Verstappen: There are always things you can learn
Verstappen acknowledges that there may be aspects of Red Bull's performance in the race that they could have executed better.
"I think, like Checo said, that second stint, because the [tyre] deg[radation] was quite high on the Medium, in hindsight, probably, as a team, we could have pushed a bit more on that middle stint for Checo," he explained.
"But that's always easy to say afterwards. At the time, we thought that we had to be a little bit careful on the tyres.
"Again, we've had a lot of great weekends, but even in great weekends, there are always things that you can learn."
Whilst Red Bull failed to clinch a 1-2 in the Drivers' Championship for the first time in their history, the team still walked away with both titles as well as seeing Verstappen win a record-breaking 15 races in 2022.
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