Red Bull radio messages under FIA scrutiny with Abu Dhabi GP verdict issued

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc leads Sergio Perez and eventual race winner Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez and Red Bull summoned in Abu Dhabi over radio communications.

The stewards handed Sergio Perez a formal warning regarding radio communication in Abu Dhabi, citing “personal insults”.

Perez already felt the wrath of the stewards during the race, issued with a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Lando Norris, a penalty which ultimately cost him his place on the podium.

Post-race though the stewards announced that Perez and a Red Bull team representative had been summoned in relation to messages over team radio, with a potential breach of Article 12.2.1 k) of the International Sporting Code cited. Perez had allegedly branded the stewards a “joke” over Red Bull team radio.

Formal warning for Sergio Perez

The stewards determined that a formal warning was to be handed to Perez, explaining that while questioning their decisions is fine, the line is crossed when “personal insults” are made.

Perez’s team-mate Max Verstappen meanwhile used the radio to give permission to Red Bull for Perez to make his final pit stop before him, a gesture for which the motive later became clear.

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Verstappen said that rather than giving this call to help Perez, he was actually trying to stay out for enough laps to hit 1000 laps led in F1 2023.

“It was to try and lead for 1000 laps in the season,” Verstappen confirmed.

“I knew that that was on the cards. I said to GP [race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase], I mean he was also aware of that, so just to make sure that they wouldn’t pit me too early.

“The tyres were still they felt okay. I mean, they were not fantastic, but they felt okay at that point. So we just kept on extending a little bit.”