Verstappen calls out media, details online abuse suffered by him and his family

Thursday’s press conference ahead of Formula 1’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix turned heated as Max Verstappen defended his decision to ignore team orders in Brazil and criticized media reports and widespread online abuse.

The two-time world champion refused instructions from Red Bull to give up his seat to team-mate Sergio Pérez, who is fighting for second place in the drivers’ standings. Verstappen hinted that the reason was due to an incident earlier this year, but has not revealed any further details.

The 25-year-old told Abu Dhabi that the team “had a bit of a miscommunication” in Brazil, revealing that “on Saturday and Sunday I had not been told anything about a possible swap or anything. It wasn’t until the last round that it was said on the radio and I think they should have known my answer already from what I said last week.”

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