Formula 1: Sergio Perez blasts fans, media for making up stories

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Sergio Perez addressed Jos Verstappen’s response to his first win of the 2023 Formula 1 season a few weeks ago at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Sergio Perez took his first win of the 2023 Formula 1 season in the season’s second race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit a few weeks ago, winning the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix ahead of teammate Max Verstappen to close the gap in the point standings to just one point at the time.

The win was the fifth of Perez’s career and fourth since he joined Red Bull ahead of the 2021 season. All four of his wins as a Red Bull driver have come in street course races.

As Perez emerged from his RB19 to celebrate with his team member, the camera showed Jos Verstappen, father of Max Verstappen, looking on without much of an expression on his face.

Formula 1 fans attack Jos Verstappen, Sergio Perez responds

Given that a contingent of Formula 1 fans will do just about anything to grasp at straws when it comes to smearing the Verstappen family at this point, the fact that Jos wasn’t on cloud nine, jumping up and down, pumping his fist in the air, pounding his chest, and hooting and hollering in celebration of Perez’s victory led to criticism, which, by and large, led to additional criticism and hit pieces aimed at his son.

Perez has finally spoken out about it, blasting those who painted an incorrect picture by effectively making things up, “creating stories that don’t exist”.

"“I have a good relationship with Jos. We respect each other. We know this is sport, and that is how we treat it. We shook hands but they probably didn’t show that. I saw a few things were written on social media, but sometimes people like to create stories that don’t exist. He wasn’t smiling much, but you don’t have to smile every day and all the time.”"

So no, the fact that Jos wasn’t singing the Mexican national anthem at the top of his lungs is not a reason to suggest that there is tension and vitriol brewing in Milton Keynes and that the Verstappen family are horrible people.

At the end of the day, Perez is spot on. When a team is as good as Red Bull are, there is, in general, less drama than there would be with multiple frontrunning teams (like we saw in 2021, for instance). So people need to create headlines and try to make things up to generate interest and engagement, and eventually, it builds up to the point where it almost becomes a flat-out lie.

We saw it during the era of Mercedes dominance. Week in and week out, fans were desperate for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to recreate some of the drama from the Hamilton/Nico Rosberg days. It never happened, but there was never a shortage of comments about the possibility.

dark. Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list

After his Australian Grand Prix win, Verstappen now has a 15-point lead over Perez in the standings. Just three of this year’s 23 scheduled races are in the books, with the fourth, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 30 at Baku City Circuit. Perez won the race in 2021 while Verstappen won it in 2022.