Rebel Max Verstappen avoids `kick in the nuts`
Teenage Formula One sensation Max Verstappen explained his petulant outburst in Singapore last week by saying his dad would have given him a "kick in the nuts" if he had meekly obeyed team orders.
Suzuka: Teenage Formula One sensation Max Verstappen explained his petulant outburst in Singapore last week by saying his dad would have given him a "kick in the nuts" if he had meekly obeyed team orders.
Verstappen refused to let Toro Rosso partner Carlos Sainz through during the final laps, despite the team repeatedly asking him to do so, as he barked "No!" into the cockpit radio.
Sainz denied there was any tension between the pair before this weekend`s Japanese Grand Prix, although he took a sly dig at the 17-year-old Dutchman, accusing him of acting like a rebel.
"He likes to play a bit more maybe the bad boy role, and I kind of knew it," said the Spaniard. "But he has now demonstrated this. It will not change."
But Verstappen joked that his father and manager, ex-F1 driver Jos, would have kicked him where it hurts had he obeyed team orders at Marine Bay.
"Yep, he told me if I had let him past he would have kicked me in the nuts!" he said. "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.
"After the second time I made it quite clear I didn`t want to do it, and at the end they told me it was the right decision. I`ve spoken to (Sainz) a little bit -- there`s no problem."
Toro Rosso gave Verstappen the all-clear following the terse exchange.
"Max, just do it!" came the reply after Verstappen`s refusal, but he was later exonerated by team principal Franz Tost, who explained that Sainz wouldn`t have been able to catch Sergio Perez, the man in front of the Toro Rossos.
Sainz was keen to play down the incident at Suzuka.
"Everything should be normal here," he said. "I now know more what Max is about.
"I think both (drivers) have no problem with anyone, and I think it was more the team and Max who had to clarify things between them. My approach will not change."