Verstappen lashes out over Toro Rosso's race strategy

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen said his Australian Grand Prix – that included him hitting teammate Carlos Sainz – was “very frustrating and disappointing”.

Verstappen lashes out over Toro Rosso's race strategy
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Verstappen’s anger, which played out publicly over team radio, was aimed after a botched second pitstop put him behind Sainz on the track.

They then got bottled up behind Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, and later became embroiled in a battle for ninth – which was when Verstappen hit Sainz and spun.

“Very frustrating and disappointing, hopefully we try to do better next race,” said Verstappen, who finished 10th.

“I think the whole race, before that [botched pitstop] I was much faster and I was pulling away. Then we got stuck behind [Sainz, who had Williams' Valtteri Bottas ahead of him] and no chance to get past.”

Of arriving at his pits with the team not ready for him, he added: “It was a miscommunication between us, bad luck.”

Sainz’s side of the story

When asked about his thoughts on Verstappen’s radio rants (below), he replied: “I dunno, I couldn’t listen to his radio, but I’m getting to know now that the radio was quite interesting!

“Ha, I have no problem, I did my race.

“I think we overtook a lot of cars today and put on a good show even though the result isn’t what we deserved or wanted.”

Of the team’s tyre strategy, which forced them both to pit again, Sainz added: “There’s doubts, because we were P6 and we ended up P9. The car has the pace, maybe not the top speed to overtake, we definitely have to look at what we can do better.”

Below is a transcription of radio conversations between Verstappen and engineer Xevi Pujolar, and Sainz and his engineer Marco Matassa...

Max Verstappen [behind Sainz and Palmer]: “Can I try to get past?”

Xevi Pujolar: “Yes”

MV: “Let me try, because this takes too long”

XP: “Just do it”

MV: “We have to do something”

Marco Matassa: “Carlos, push”

Carlos Sainz: “I am pushing, I am pushing, don’t tell me to push”

MM: “Yes, otherwise we will swap the next lap”

MV [as he battled Sainz in closing stages]: “I always understand that I am pulling away, and now you don’t let me past, it’s a [bleeped]ing joke. Really”

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