Verstappen slams 'ridiculous' media coverage and 'disgusting' abuse following Perez spat

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Max Verstappen has described media coverage of his disagreement with Sergio Perez at the Brazilian Grand Prix as "ridiculous", saying he and his family received "disgusting" abuse after the incident.

Last week, Verstappen infuriated Perez by defying orders to give up sixth position to aid his Red Bull team-mate in his battle to finish second in the drivers' championship.

Having said Verstappen's move showed "who he really is" over team radio, Perez went further in his criticism of the world champion after the race, declaring: "If he has two championships, it's thanks to me".

On Thursday, Red Bull released a statement acknowledging the team's mistakes in Sao Paulo, claiming Verstappen had been placed "in a compromising situation with little time to react".

The team also condemned "shocking and saddening" online abuse directed towards both drivers and their families, saying: "At the end of the day this is a sport, we are here to race. Death threats, hate mail and vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable."

Speaking at a press conference to preview the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Thursday, Verstappen defended his actions in Brazil and hit out at those who blamed him for the incident.

"We had a bit of a miscommunication on Saturday and Sunday, nothing had been said to me about a potential swap," Verstappen said.

"It was only coming into that last lap that it was said on the radio, and they should have known my response already from what I said the week before.

"After that race we had some good discussion, we put everything on the table, and everything has been solved.

"In hindsight, we should have had that conversation earlier because I have never been a bad team-mate to anyone. I've always been very helpful, and the team knows that.

"After that race, I looked very bad in the media but they also didn't have the clear picture, but to immediately put me down is pretty ridiculous to be honest.

"Because they don't know how I work within the team and what the team appreciates about me, so all the things I have read are pretty disgusting.

"And even more than that, they started attacking my family, threatening my sister, my mum, my girlfriend and my dad. That goes way too far while you don't have the facts of what's going on. For me, that has to stop.

"If you have a problem with me, that's fine but don't go after my family because that is just unacceptable. We move on. Honestly, I have a great relationship with Checo. But I just don't understand when people don't have the full picture, to immediately start attacking me like that.

"I'm just a bit fed up with all this bull**** going around all the time. At the end of the day, I haven't done anything wrong, people just misunderstood what was going on."

Perez, meanwhile, told Sky Sports he wished to move on from the incident after discussing it with Verstappen.

"We have discussed everything internally," he said. "There's been a lot of speculation on social media, a lot of hate, that is not nice to see.

"We're just ready to move on as a team. What happened there, we discussed it, and we're ready to move on as a team."