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F1: Crimson Bull driver rift provides spice to Abu Dhabi finale | Racing Information

ABU DHABI: System One champion Max Verstappen heads into Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix going through questions on his character and behavior after he refused to assist teammate Sergio Perez on the final race in Brazil.
The Red Bull rift might deliver recent drama to Yas Marina, the circuit the place final yr Verstappen gained his first title and denied Lewis Hamilton a file eighth in a massively controversial conflict.
Verstappen has little at stake this time, having wrapped up his second title in Japan final month, however can anticipate a grilling from the world’s media after leaving his motives a thriller at Interlagos.
Perez acidly accused Verstappen of exhibiting “who he actually is” in refusing at hand again a spot as requested by Crimson Bull who need the Mexican to finish the season second total.
The brand new champion constructors have by no means completed one-two within the drivers’ standings and Perez is now stage on factors with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc however behind on race wins.
Verstappen’s assertion that he and Perez had talked and moved on, and that he was keen to assist the Mexican in Abu Dhabi, is unlikely to attract a line below the matter.
There’s widespread bafflement at why a driver who has dominated the season refused at hand again a sixth place of no consequence to him, and why he was so clearly indignant on the request.
If, as some have recommended, it was payback for Perez’s qualifying crash at Monaco in Could, then why had it taken so lengthy to manifest? And why was Verstappen nonetheless so vexed about it given all of the positives since then?
The controversy is not going to distract Verstappen from chasing a record-extending fifteenth win of the season however the process is getting more durable, with Mercedes and Ferrari filling the highest 4 locations in Brazil.
Sunday’s race may even be the final alternative for Lewis Hamilton to assert a primary victory of the yr with Mercedes and keep away from the primary season with no win of his profession.
Mercedes staff mate George Russell led him residence in a Mercedes one-two in Brazil and a repeat outcome with quickest lap would assist the previous champions overtake Ferrari for second within the constructors’, with simply 19 factors separating the 2 groups.
Fourth place total, equal to tens of millions in prize cash, can also be in rivalry.
Alpine, 19 factors away from McLaren, look set to be better of the remaining spot after the Woking-based staff suffered a double retirement in Brazil.
Sebastian Vettel will bow out on Sunday, on the identical venue the place he clinched his first title in 2010, in what is certain to be an emotional swansong for the four-times champion.
“I’m positive that this race will deliver again loads of completely happy recollections from the final 15 years,” stated the 35-year-old. “I need to exit on a excessive.”
Canadian Nicholas Latifi and Australian Daniel Ricciardo may even be absent subsequent yr shedding their seats at Williams and McLaren respectively, whereas it might even be a farewell to Mick Schumacher.
The German might be a part of them on the sidelines with Haas extensively tipped to announce Nico Hulkenberg alongside Kevin Magnussen for subsequent season.

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