Max Verstappen has joked his father, former F1 racer Jos Verstappen, would have 'kicked him in the nuts' had he obeyed team orders to let Carlos Sainz past in the closing stages of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Dutchman endured an eventful evening around the Marina Bay Circuit after seemingly scuppering his hopes of a good result after stalling from eighth position, leaving him a lap down initially.

However, an early safety car permitted him the chance to un-lap himself, enabling Verstappen to begin making ground through the pack. A second safety car period then put him in range of the points, with his super-soft rubber allowing him to pull off a series of impressive passes en route to eighth.

Shadowed by team-mate Sainz, Verstappen was then controversially asked to swap positions with the Spaniard after the team determined he had fresher tyres with which to challenge Sergio Perez ahead in seventh.

Eliciting an angry response from Verstappen, he would defy the order to keep eighth place, a decision that the team says it now supports.

"I was told five laps before the end," he said. "First of all, if you're one lap down and you manage to be back in the points as the leading Toro Rosso, then for me there is no reason to switch positions.

"With Checo, we couldn't have got past because his top speed was unbelievable. After the second time I made it quite clear I didn't want to do it, and at the end they told me it was the right decision."

Indeed, Verstappen suggests the wrath he would face from the team for retaining eighth would be more favourable than the reaction he would get from his father had he swapped positions...

"He told me if I had let him past he would have kicked me in the nuts..."