Max Verstappen was happy that he was not asked by the Red Bull team to slow down Charles Leclerc and thus allow Sergio Perez to catch and pass the Monaco, as he believes that it would not have been the right end to the season.
While the Dutchman easily led the race from pole position and held the lead all the way to the finish line, behind him there was a nervous battle between Leclerc and Perez for second place among the drivers. Perez closed the gap on the Ferrari driver in the final laps thanks to a change in tactics, but eventually ran out of laps to try and overtake. Verstappen revealed after the race that he had not received any instructions from the team to help his teammate, which he believes would have tarnished the season finale.
"I haven't been given any instructions, which is also a very ticklish topic," said Verstappen. "I wouldn't want to get involved in that. He might be able to hold off Charles, but is it fair racing? I don't think it would be the right end of the championship and the season. It looked like Checo was fast enough to catch him, but then he lost quite a bit of time overtaking Pierre (Gasly) and Alex (Albon).”
Perez radioed the team during the race that Verstappen was holding him back, and the Dutchman said that in the middle part of the race she probably could have gone faster and increased her lead over Leclerc, but the team was concerned about tire wear. "The degradation of medium hard tires was quite high in the second stint. "Looking back, maybe we really could have driven faster, but at that moment we were convinced that we had to pay more attention to the tires," explained Verstappen.
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