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Max Verstappen slams Toro Rosso strategy

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Verstappen finished behind his team-mate Carlos Sainz in the Australian Grand Prix.

Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 17/03/16 - Toro Rosso F1 driver Max Verstappen laughs posing for a drivers portrait before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 17/03/16 - Toro Rosso F1 driver Max Verstappen laughs posing for a drivers portrait before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Jason Reed

A frustrated Max Verstappen unleashed an expletive-laden tirade on the team radio at the Toro Rosso garage as the teenager's hopes of a maiden podium drifted away at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Dutchman started fifth on the grid but finished 10th and was irked to be beaten by ninth-placed team-mate Carlos Sainz. Having held his position after a frenetic start, Verstappen's race began to unravel when he caught his crew napping on an early pit-stop.

The botched tyre-change cost him precious momentum and he made his displeasure clear.

"I was telling you I had a problem with the tyres, I wanted to pit first," he said on the team radio before muttering a number of expletives.

He was later incensed when blocked by Sainz and demanded his team order the Spaniard to slow and be overtaken. Sainz was allowed to race and Verstappen ended up taking a spin after brushing the rear of his team mate's car.

Verstappen angrily told his team their strategy was a "joke".

"Quite a frustrating afternoon," Verstappen said later in a more measured team release.

"After the red flag we had a bit of a miscommunication for the second stop and it got very difficult.

"We have a fantastic car and to finish P10 here is not where we should be. I’m very disappointed as this was a great opportunity for us to get a very good result.

"Now we just need to focus on the next race and try and score more points than today.”

Sainz, who started seventh on the grid, was scarcely happier with the day.

"I did my race and I think we put on a good show. I enjoyed it out there but I think we deserved to end up higher up instead of going backwards," he said.


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