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Sainz: No friction with Verstappen

21 Mar 2016

Carlos Sainz insists there will be no lingering tensions between himself and Toro Rosso team mate Max Verstappen, despite some heated exchanges during the 2016 Formula One season-opener in Australia.

Verstappen was furious after the team called Sainz in to pit before him, and then refused his demands to order Sainz to give way on circuit. The two even made contact when Verstappen tagged the left rear of Sainz's car a few laps from the finish - an incident which caused Verstappen to spin, although he recovered to finish on Sainz's tail, the pair in ninth and 10th respectively.

While Verstappen labelled the situation a '******* joke' during the race, Sainz played down any talk of lasting friction with the Dutchman.

"I think it is a healthy rivalry," he explained. "At least from my side I have absolutely no issues with anyone."

Asked about Verstappen's requests for Sainz to move aside, the Spaniard added: "There was not much radio communication, not a lot to understand. I just know I was behind Jolyon [Palmer], they told me to push and I overtook him. 

"Then I arrived to the Williams [of Valtteri Bottas] and they were absolutely flying on the straight. I overtook eight or 10 cars I think, so I was not missing any overtaking moves, it was just quite tough on some of them. It's not an easy track to overtake on."

When pushed on the fact he and Verstappen made contact, Sainz said: "I received a touch from behind, saw Max spinning in my mirrors. It was a very interesting race - on the limit, but that's how Formula One should be. 

"I think we deserved a lot more for the final position, especially with so many overtakes. But I enjoyed it a lot and I think there should be no issues, at least from my side."

Verstappen, who was running in fifth - one place ahead of Sainz - before the restart, said the team had squandered a chance to score far more heavily than it did.

"I think it's just a missed opportunity. I think everything worked well, great start and good call on the first pit stop, and then everything just turned into…

"Very disappointing. We had a great car and then to finish P10, it's not where we should be."


WATCH: Highlights of the 2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix

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