Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost says that he was happy for Max Verstappen to keep his position ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz even after being asked by the team to move aside.
Verstappen and Sainz were running eighth and ninth in the closing stages of the race, at which point the latter, running on newer tyres, requested over team radio to be let through to have a chance at passing seventh place man Sergio Perez.
But after Verstappen said “no!” to the instruction when asked to move by, Tost said in retrospect that it was the right for the Dutchman to be allowed to keep the place because Sainz lacked the pace to overhaul Perez.
“Carlos had new tyres, [and asked] therefore [if the drivers] can switch positions,” explained the Austrian.
“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."
Explaining his side of the story, Sainz said: “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.
“It’s not an issue for me, but sometimes you have to think about the team and not just yourself.”