Max Verstappen left frustrated following Australian Grand Prix

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Max Verstappen was left frustrated at his Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. and the team’s strategy following the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Dutchman had a promising start to the race, maintaining fifth after a frantic start. However, the 18-year-old’s afternoon took a wrong turn following a restart after the red flag on lap 18.

Verstappen endured a slow stop on lap 33, dropping in the running order and falling in behind Sainz.

From there Verstappen was slowed by his teammate, which led to a series of heated messages over the radio. Verstappen pleaded with the team to allow Sainz to let him by while the duo was being held up by the Renault of Jolyon Palmer.

The team continued to assure Verstappen that it would tell Sainz to move aside, but it never happened and Verstappen’s radio messages became more expletive-laden.

“It’s a f***ing joke, really!”

The pair eventually got by Palmer, but after being held up by Sainz for several laps Verstappen attempted a desperate move at Turn 15 on the Spaniard. The ill-advised pass drew contact between them as Verstappen spun-out.

The Dutchman gathered his Toro Rosso machine back up and started a late charge back to the rear wing of Sainz, but was left finishing behind the Spaniard in 10th.

Following the race, a visibly frustrated Verstappen touched on his rough Australian Gran Prix.

“Quite a frustrating afternoon,” said Verstappen. “We had a great start to the race and were able to keep the Mercedes behind. The first pit-stop was also good. We had great pace and I didn’t have pressure from behind, but 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.”

Image: Red Bull Content Pool

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.