Sergio Perez has denied deliberately crashing his Red Bull during Monaco Grand Prix qualifying after rumours intensified following the team orders furore with Max Verstappen at Interlagos.
The Mexican's conduct in Monaco was the topic of speculation following Max Verstappen's refusal to allow Perez through and the two-time champion's explanation that Red Bull 'know my reasons' for failing to adhere to the instruction.
It has been rumoured that these reasons related back to an incident during qualifying in Monaco where Perez crashed late in Q3, denying his team-mate the opportunity to improve his time.
Asked bluntly if the rumours of a deliberate crash and subsequent admission of guilt to team principal Christian Horner and advisor Dr Helmut Marko were correct, Perez said: “The rumour is wrong.
“That is just speculation from the media out there and people creating rumours. We are all aware of what is going on in the team and we want to keep everything within the team.
“Everyone makes mistakes in Monaco and you can see – you have all the information and you can go and see it. Already, I nearly crashed into turn one and everyone makes mistakes in Monaco or in general places in qualifying.
“It is not like it was done on purpose.”
Red Bull secrecy maintained
Red Bull has been determined to keep details of all the discussions that followed last weekend in-house and private.
Conceding that the reasons for Verstappen's grievance were not made clear in the meeting, 32-year-old Perez was asked if his team-mate believed he had deliberately crashed in Monaco.
“We have discussed what happened in São Paulo internally and we have agreed that for the benefit of the team, this should remain internal what was discussed," he added.
"It’s best so that we don’t open any speculation and we are able to move on and to be the team we used to be, united and strong.
“That’s the priority of the team. We want to put all of this behind us and just move forwards.”