Sergio Perez labelled a Red Bull team order to relinquish his lead in the Barcelona Grand Prix to teammate Max Verstappen 'unfair'.
The Mexican driver took the lead in Catalonia after capitalising on issues for the rest of his rivals, with Verstappen spinning and suffering with DRS issues, Carlos Sainz also spinning and Charles Leclerc forced into retirement following a loss of power.
Perez was a valiant assistant to Verstappen in his title-winning campaign last season and has often had to cede position to his teammate, although the fact that orders came so early in the season raised questions.
The experienced driver didn't hide his feelings on the matter when informed of the order from his team and questioned the decision, saying: "That's very unfair, but OK."
Verstappen went on to win the race and Perez came in second, sending Red Bull top of the constructors' standings and seeing the Milton Keynes-based side secure their second one-two finish in three races.
With Verstappen now top of the Drivers; Championship and Red Bull leading the way in the constructors', it may seem that all is well for Christian Horner's men but Perez was understandably aggrieved.
“Yes, I think it was close. But at any rate, same result, and I’m happy for that. We were on different tyre strategies at the time. I let mine expire in the beginning, then I thought at the time that I could go by and not lose crucial seconds, you know, to make my strategy work. But anyway, it’s a good team result.”
Perez himself isn't out of the picture for the title, sitting third in the standings and 25 points behind teammate Verstappen with a huge chunk of the season remaining.
Verstappen will be looking for a fourth victory in a row when Formula One heads to Monaco next weekend, with the Dutch driver looking to secure what could be a decisive blow on Leclerc's own turf.
The defending champion now has a six-point lead over Leclerc following a 25-point swing in Barcelona, with Perez 19 points off the Ferrari.
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