Toro Rosso F1 boss Franz Tost backs Max Verstappen on team orders

Max Verstappen has been applauded by Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost for refusing to obey orders to allow team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr through during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Toro Rosso F1 boss Franz Tost backs Max Verstappen on team orders

Verstappen was twice told to yield in the closing stages, but he stood his ground to claim eighth place - one position ahead of Sainz - to cap a recovery drive after being last and a lap down early on after the anti-stall system failed to kick in at the start.

The team felt if Verstappen had pulled to one side then Sainz, on new supersoft Pirelli tyres for the final stint compared to a used set for the 17-year-old, had a shot at Sergio Perez in his Force India in seventh.

Explaining the situation, Tost said: "The team wanted to swap positions because we thought Carlos was faster with the new tyres, but this was not the case, he could not catch up.

"He was too far away, so Max said no, and he was right.

"I said over the intercom if Carlos is not close then it makes no sense to swap positions because he would never get Perez as he is too far behind."

"Max was right because Carlos was simply too far away, between three and five tenths behind.

"You have to catch up, and he [Sainz] should have shown at first he was capable of overtaking Max before then trying to catch Perez."

Verstappen feels he was within his rights to hold station, particularly after his efforts to get back into the top 10 following his miserable start.

"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," said Verstappen.

"With Checo, we couldn't have got past because his top speed was unbelievable.

"After I was told the second time [to let Sainz by] I made it quite clear I didn't want to do it, and at the end they told me it was the right decision."

Asked whether he had discussed the situation with Sainz, Verstappen replied: "Yes, I've spoken to him a little bit - no problems."

Verstappen added his father Jos would not have been happy if he had given up his place, saying: "He told me if I had let him past he would have kicked me in the nuts!"

Sainz, meanwhile, believes he deserved a shot at Perez, confirming he would have given the place back if he had failed to pass the Mexican.

"I thought 'Well, he has tried for 10 laps, let me try for one lap' because I had overtaken several cars," said Sainz.

"I asked for a try if I could overtake him, and if not in two laps I would let him by again."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Teams AlphaTauri
Author Ian Parkes
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