Max Verstappen’s Mom Is Fighting With Sergio Perez on Instagram

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Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing stand in tribute to the late Dietrich Mateschitz during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2022 in Austin, Texas

Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)

At the conclusion of last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing ordered Max Verstappen to give up his position to teammate Sergio Pérez. Verstappen, who has already clinched the World Championship, wouldn’t have gained much by finishing in sixth place instead of seventh, but Pérez, who is currently seeking every possible point to take second place in the Drivers’ Championship, could have used that bump. Now, in typical Formula 1 fashion, the whole thing has spiraled into a soap opera-worthy saga that involves Max Verstappen’s mom, Sérgio Perez’s family, and what really happened at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Everyone got that? Good.

In Brazil, Verstappen refused to give Pérez sixth place, saying over the radio, “I told you already last time, guys. Don’t ask that again to me, okay? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons, and I stand by it.”

Now, the “reasons” to which Verstappen refers are not totally clear, but the F1 rumor mill has generated a story that hinges on qualifying for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix.

See, in the last moments of Q3, Verstappen was in the middle of a flying lap when Pérez crashed. The crash ended the session prematurely, so no driver was able to better their time. Apparently, some folks believe that Verstappen thinks Pérez crashed intentionally, and when asked about that directly, Verstappen didn’t confirm or deny the sentiment. Instead, all he said was, “You can decide that, I’m not going to say.”

The strangest part of that whole saga is the fact that, while Pérez did end up in a better qualifying position than his teammate, it wasn’t by much. Pérez qualified third, followed by Verstappen in fourth. The two lined up behind Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari. But it has been alleged that, because Pérez managed to take victory in Monaco after a lengthy rain delay while Verstappen only managed third, the crash was a calculated move to nip Verstappen’s race win chances in the bud. Had Verstappen qualified higher, it is said, then he’d have had a better chance of winning at Monaco, where it’s notoriously difficult to pass other cars.

Alright. We’re going to come back to Monaco in a second, but let’s return to Brazil, shall we?

The aftermath of the Red Bull team orders in Brazil was a little messy. Pérez was told on the radio that Verstappen would let him by, but Verstappen refused, which left Pérez to comment, “Yeah, it shows who he really is,” when the team apologized after the race.

Then, after the race concluded, a woman named Sophie Kumpen allegedly accused Pérez of cheating on his wife in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix. Kumpen — if you don’t recognize the name — is the mother of Max Verstappen.

(I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. I know I needed one.)

In an Instagram post regarding the drama in Monaco, Kumpen allegedly commented, “and then in the evening cheating on his wife,” followed by a thinking emoji. That alleged comment was quickly deleted, but not before folks managed to screenshot it into permanent existence. (I also want to note that I’m saying “alleged” here because I didn’t see the response myself before it was deleted.)

After winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Pérez was seen dancing with and kissing a woman who was not his wife during a “very bad party,” the Daily Mail writes. Pérez admitted to this, writing in an apology on Instagram:

I have seen the videos that have been circulating about me and I take responsibility for it. ‘It was a bad party that I didn’t know how to control at the height of the person that I am, but it was just that, a very bad party. People close to me know my values and the type of person that I am.

For those who ask me, we are more united than ever, me and my wife. And for those who just want to hurt us, I wish you the best.

Thank you all for your love and I apologise to all the people who love me because those videos don’t represent me, not at all.

We will not talk about this topic anymore, which only makes us forget the great moment we are living as a family. Thank you.

Pérez married his Carola Martinez in 2018. The two have three children together.

So, basically: If Kumpen actually did make that comment, she was essentially bringing up a personal spat, seemingly in a way to justify her own son’s behavior in denying Pérez a position at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Oh, and by the way: as we head into the season finale, Pérez is now sitting tied for second place with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the Championship — a position Pérez would have easily gained by being given a higher finishing position in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen and Pérez, for what it’s worth, have allegedly come to some sort of understanding, and Verstappen has said he’s willing to help Pérez in his pursuit for the best possible WDC finishing position in Abu Dhabi.

Anyway. Is anyone else sad the Formula 1 season is coming to an end this weekend?

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