Sainz: No problems in ‘healthy rivalry’ with Verstappen

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Carlos Sainz Jr. says that he has no problems with Scuderia Toro Rosso teammate Max Verstappen despite the two enjoying a frosty battle in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

An incorrect strategy left Sainz and Verstappen on the fringes of the top 10 towards the end of the race in Melbourne, having previously both been running well inside the points.

Verstappen demanded on a number of occasions to be let past Sainz when the Spaniard was stuck behind Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, but was kept back.

Eventually, both drivers passed Palmer, but the two made light contact later on to send Verstappen into a spin. Sainz ultimately finished the race in ninth place, one place ahead of his teammate.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Sainz said that he has no problems with Verstappen and that their rivalry remains a healthy one.

“I think it’s a healthy rivalry. At least from my side, I have absolutely no issues with anyone,” Sainz said.

“Today it was a very interesting are, a very on the limit race but that’s how Formula 1 should be: on the limit and I enjoyed a lot even if the final position I think we deserved more with so many overtakes and so much show going on.

“I enjoyed it, and I think there will be no issues at least from my side.”

Verstappen was less vocal when pressed on the matter by NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton, but admitted that he felt angry with the team during the race.

“I think it’s a missed opportunity. I think everything worked well, great start, good first call in the pit stop and then everything just turned into…” Verstappen said, tailing off.

“I was very angry of course. Very disappointing. We had a great car and then to finish down here is not where we should be.

“It is like it is and I’ll just try to do it better the next race, but I’m just very disappointed.

“If you can see that the Haas finishes sixth, then I think we had a great opportunity to have a great result here.”