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A kick in the nuts!

NEWS STORY
21/09/2015

Told to let his teammate Carlos Sainz through in the closing stages of yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix, Max Verstappen's stunned reaction was "no!"

The Dutch sensation, who started the race a lap down - a fate even the McLaren duo haven't been subjected to… yet - after his car stalled on the grid, was hounding Sergio Perez for seventh.

Though both Toro Rosso drivers were on the faster option rubber, compared to the Mexican's primes, Sainz' were fresher, hence the call to allow him through.

Refusing to give way, Verstappen continued to harry Perez, crossing the finish line just 0.614s behind, his Toro Rosso teammate a further 1.41s down the road.

Initially, when asked by reporters if his father, Jos (the boss) Verstappen agreed with his refusal to budge, Max joked: "He told me if I had let him past he would have kicked me in the nuts!"

He subsequently admitted: "The call was to let Carlos come by, but the whole race I had great pace, I was pulling away from everyone in the midfield, I was catching up the guys in front so for me there was no reason to let him past.

"I think if it was the other way round it would be the same thing," he added.

Well actually no...

"I would have done it," insisted Sainz. "I'm a fair man; I saw what Red Bull did in Monaco and said 'look this is the best thing you could ever do: play the team card, let the guy on the newer tyre - which was me - at least try'. If I can't, Max goes through and finishes P8, I finish P9 and it's not a problem. I just wanted that shot, he never gave it to me and that was it."

Asked if Verstappen's refusal to yield might sour their relationship, the Spaniard said: "We get on very well. This is not an issue for me. When we put our helmets on we are obviously rivals. Sometimes, when you put the helmet on, you also have to think for the team."

Team boss Franz Tost was keen to play down speculation that the Dutchman had disobeyed his team and created a bad feeling within the garage.

"Carlos had new tyres therefore we thought we could switch positions," he told Sky Sports F1. "But then Carlos was too slow, he was too far behind and Max was right. He saw that Carlos was not closing up and Carlos could not have caught Perez so we were right to let them go.

"Carlos was always a minimum of three to five tenths behind, if he wants us to swap the positions he must be closer to him or it doesn't make sense. He wouldn't have caught Perez."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jasman, 21/09/2015 23:54

"I wonder if Mika Salo regrets following team orders by letting Eddie Irvine by and giving up a sure win in the German GP a few years ago. As I recall, it did nothing for his future at Ferrari."

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2. Posted by scf1fan, 21/09/2015 17:22

"STR probably should have handled it a bit differently since the way it came across (on the radio) seemed quite harsh. They could have just told MaxV to not hold Sainz up. That would have still put the onus on Sainz to be close enough to make the pass."

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3. Posted by f1khun, 21/09/2015 15:05

"@Spindoctor
I did not mean that those drivers did it after they won races - they had that same attitude that won them races and WDC's. Max has that same attitude. As @ape so nicely explains who didn't or doesn't (among others) :-)"

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4. Posted by testa rossa, 21/09/2015 14:49

"Like Tost confirmed ..Saintz was not close enough ....and asking this a few laps before the end of the race was ridiculous ...like Frank always said "let them race""

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5. Posted by ape, 21/09/2015 14:39

"Losers like Massa and Barichello could have learnt something from this rookie. Do you understand Filipe do you understand ...LOL"

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6. Posted by Spindoctor, 21/09/2015 12:13

"Ah yes, the old "win at all costs" malarkey.
As I saw it ("highlights" only) Sainz was going faster so a perfectly reasonable team request, especially as Sainz said he'd return the place if he couldn't get past.

@f1khun - the drivers you mention probably waited until they'd gained the right to disobey Team Orders. It's slightly different for a WDC to do his own thing, than a rookie in his 1st season......

Young Verstappen's case would be a LOT stronger if he'd pulled-off a pass, instead of getting in his teammate's way "

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7. Posted by f1khun, 21/09/2015 11:02

"Aren't team orders forbidden?
Anyway. Schumacher, Mansell, Prost, Lauda, Senna, Hunt, and most drivers that ever won an F1 race, neglected team orders; they were winners in their minds, in their hearts and in their everything. Seems Max is the same.... good on him. As for the balls; he made the right choice then :-)"

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8. Posted by jcr, 21/09/2015 10:27

"Back to Webber V Vettal again, Tost backing his young Protege against the other driver, Team Orders are Team Orders, O:K: This is more of a Gentlemans Agreement, But then, What would a 17 year old know about that !!!!, Has been (never was) Daddy, now thats a different (dangerous thing !!)"

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