Max Verstappen upset with his race in Australian GP F1 opener

Max Verstappen is upset with his Australian Grand Prix after he made contact with Formula 1 team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr and had a series of heated team radio exchanges

Max Verstappen upset with his race in Australian GP F1 opener

Verstappen voiced his disapproval that Toro Rosso chose to bring Sainz in before him despite the teenager being ahead on track.

"How many times have I said I had problems with the tyres? I wanted to pit first," he said on team radio.

A miscommunication meant he pitted for the second time when the team was not expecting him and that dropped him behind Sainz, leading to a series of expletive-filled radio messages as both struggled to find a way past Renault's Jolyon Palmer.

Later as both caught Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas's battle for sixth, the Dutchman made light contact with Sainz and spun.

Speaking about the race in which he finished 10th, Verstappen said: "You could hear how upset I was.

"It's just a very disappointing race in general - a lost opportunity.

"If you see Grosjean and Haas finishing sixth in their first race, we could have done much better than that.

"The start was good, the first pitstop was good, but we had a bit of a miscommunication for the second stop, and from there it got very difficult."

When asked about the contact with Sainz, he said: "We were on the edge of the tyres and we touched."

Sainz said he had no problem with the incident between the pair.

"In the touch with Max, he hit me from behind," he told Autosport.

"It can happen, I have no problem with that.

"It didn't damage my race. Nothing to complain about."

Team principal Franz Tost said Sainz "had a lot of front locking" and that is why the team called him in first for the opening round of stops.

He added: "We changed our strategy and sent him out on medium tyres.

"Within the next three laps also Max came into the pits, but the team was not prepared for this stop, as we did not call him."

Sainz added it was a combination of the new radio restrictions and the tyres that made it difficult to pass when he was battling Palmer.

"If you don't have a lot of radio you don't really know what is going on behind or what is happening," he said.

"I had to study him to see what the best place was to overtake him, but as you saw with our competitors once you put the main tyres on it was very difficult to overtake.

"[Lewis] Hamilton couldn't pass me even when I had a destroyed front left."


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