Red Bull Racing has been called out by the father of F1 championship leader Max Verstappen, accused of failing to ensure his son finished ahead of teammate Sergio Perez at the Monaco GP.
Perez claimed a memorable win on the streets of the principality after Ferrari managed to throw away what looked to be a good chance of a one-two finish with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
The race started under wet conditions, but as the track began to dry out pit lane strategy became crucial as timing the switch from wet to dry tyres would decide the race.
Ferrari erred with Leclerc's strategy, dropping him from the lead after starting on pole to a fourth place finish, with Verstappen managing to get ahead of the Ferrari driver to claim third and extend his championship lead, albeit only marginally.
Despite the unexpectedly strong race result for Red Bull, it did not impress Verstappen's father and former F1 driver Jos.
On Tuesday, he took to his son's official website to post about the race weekend, declaring Red Bull had 'thrown away' precious championship points after Perez finished ahead of Verstappen.
“Max’s third place was very disappointing. We all saw that it was a difficult weekend for him,” Jos wrote.
“It starts with the car, which simply doesn’t have the characteristics for his driving style yet. Max has far too little grip at the front axle."
Jos Verstappen has said he was disappointed to see Red Bull use strategy to favour Sergio Perez over Max Verstappen in Monaco 👀pic.twitter.com/PJ1eoaMsii
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 31, 2022
The senior Verstappen predicted this year's championship battle would go down to the wire, claiming Ferrari had a clear qualifying advantage.
“Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front,” Jos said.
“That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari’s mistake at that second stop of Charles Leclerc.
“The championship leader, Max, was not helped in that sense by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo (Perez's) favour.
“That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader."
Championship fight tightens in F1 after Monaco thriller
Leclerc navigated a rain-hit start - delayed by more than an hour following a deluge just a dozen minutes before the lights were due to go out on Formula One's most famous race - to control the early stages on Sunday.
But the Monegasque's race fell apart when Ferrari's strategy was exposed by Red Bull. Perez moved from third to first in the switch from wet to slick rubber, with Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz second and world champion Max Verstappen third.
Leclerc slipped from pole to cross the line in fourth, one place ahead of George Russell with Lando Norris sixth.
Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, who wrote off his McLaren in second practice on Friday, improved one place from his grid position to finish 13th.
Lewis Hamilton started eighth and finished in the same position, while Mick Schumacher walked away unharmed from a crash which sensationally split his Haas in two.
Following a frenetic climax, Perez finished just 1.1sec ahead of Sainz and the top four were separated by less than three seconds.
Red Bull blinked first, putting Perez on the intermediate tyres on lap 16, and it proved a masterstroke. The Mexican delivered two speedy laps and when Leclerc stopped for the inter tread, just two laps later, he emerged behind Perez.
It would get worse for the Monegasque when a pit-stop mix-up left him queuing behind Sainz as both Ferrari men changed to slicks.
In a matter of laps, Leclerc had dropped from first to fourth. Cue a number of expletives from Leclerc's cockpit.
Verstappen extended his championship lead over Leclerc from six to nine points.
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