by GPT Staff  |    |   0  |  30 November -0001

Toro Rosso boss backs Verstappen over team orders

Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen has the backing of team principal Franz Tost after the 17-year-old ignored a team order to switch positions with team-mate Carlos Sainz.

During the closing laps of the race, Verstappen was running eighth, right behind Force India's Sergio Perez, whilst Sainz was a close ninth.

A call over the radio from the team ordered Verstappen to switch positions, to which the Dutch youngster swiftly replied: "No!" His engineer then prompted him again: "Just do it."

Verstappen stood his ground and finished ahead of his team-mate and many expected he would suffer the consequences after, but Tost later admitted that he supported Verstappen's call to ignore the order.

"Carlos had new tyres, therefore [he asked to] switch positions," explained Tost.

"But Carlos was too slow, he was too far behind – and then we said no, Max is right, because Carlos was too slow and could not have caught Perez.

"Therefore we said no, it doesn't make sense. Carlos was also three to five tenths behind [Verstappen]; he had to be closer for us to switch positions."

Sainz meanwhile believes he should have at least been given a go at attacking Perez to score more points for the team.

"I saw what Red Bull did in Monaco [where Ricciardo and Kvyat swapped positions] and said 'this is the best thing you can do' – play the team game and let the guy on a newer tyre, that was me, try, at least have one shot.

"If I can't [pass Perez], Max finishes P8 and me P9, not a problem. I just wanted one shot, he never gave it to me."

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