Carlos Sainz has aired his frustrations that he was denied the chance to finish higher in the Singapore Grand Prix after Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen defied team orders towards the end of the race.
The Dutchman was running eighth behind Sergio Perez and ahead of Sainz in the closing stages of the night race, when the team requested he move over for his team-mate to allow him a shot at passing the Force India since he was on newer rubber.
With Verstappen refusing over the team radio and retaining his eighth place to the chequered flag, the team later admitted the youngster was right to hold onto his position.
However, it is a scenario that has left a bitter taste in Sainz's mouth, saying he was frustrated by the team's handling of the situation – rather than Verstappen himself - after he was told to back off and save his tyres on the assurance he would be allowed by for a shot at seventh.
Had he not been able to pass Perez, Sainz says he would have given up eighth to Verstappen again in a move similar to that used by stablemates Red Bull at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year.
“I did not talk with Max because my problem was not with him, it was more with the team and between him,” he said. “Twelve laps from the end the team first started to tell me to save my tyres because I was going to have a chance at the end of the race and then I left a one second gap with Max to save my tyres for the whole race.
“With five laps to go they told me to close the gap, I closed it, suddenly I saw the move was not coming. That was it really, he didn't let me past. It was his decision and it has already been discussed.”
Discussing his relationship with his team-mate, though the Spaniard insists he doesn't have a personal issue with the teenager, he admits it has given him an insight into Verstappen's approach
Indeed, Sainz finds the situation all the more galling since he says he has previously moved over for Verstappen when asked to do so, adding that the situation has given him more of an insight into the Dutchman.
“In Malaysia on the last stint when Max overtook me it was not an overtake, I let him by. Everyone was like 'Oh what a great move', and when I saw the news I was like 'Please, I let him by'. Then in Monaco when he was behind Seb and I moved out before Rascasse and he went through, it was to let him by because he was on the supersoft tyre.”
“I now know more what Max is about. He perhaps likes to play the bad boy role a bit more but I knew this and now he has demonstrated it. I'm going to keep having belief in the team and trusting them. If they call something I will trust them. I'm a team player - I'm repeating myself - but it's not really going to change my approach.”
Verstappen, meanwhile, admits there needs to be more clarity on the radio, hinting he would have adhered to the call had he known the full request.
"I think one thing we needed to b e a bit more clear on the radio. We spoke about it and hopefully it will not happen again. If we are bit clearer then for sure."