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GP Week : Issue 228
Max Verstappen was a star of the singapore Grand Prix as he worked his way from last to finish inside the points - his third points finish in four races. It was a long race for the Dutchman, who made life difficult for himself by stalling at the start and losing a lap before eventually joining the race. Good pace and two safety car periods allowed the teenager to get back onto the lead lap before battling through to the field. Having worked his way to eighth, Verstappen was chasing Sergio Perez in the final laps with teammate Carlos Sainz tucked in behind. With Sainz on fresher tyres the team instructed Verstappen to move aside and allow his teammate an opportunity to attack the Force India. His reply was short and sweet: "No!" It made for a tense atmosphere at Toro Rosso post-race, though team boss Franz Tost beat a hasty retreat over Verstappen's petulance when speaking with the media. "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," Tost said, backpedalling ferociously. “It doesn’t make sense," he added. "Carlos was also three to five tenths behind him; he had to be closer for us to switch positions." Sainz was less inclined to smooth the waters, citing the way Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat worked in the team's interests at Monaco. In that instance Kvyat reluctantly allowed Ricciardo through, only for the Australian to hand the place back to Kvyat on the final lap when he was unable to make further progress. "I saw what Red Bull did," explained Sainz, "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 [get passed 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." Verstappen though was unapologetic, adding his father had given him extra motivation to stand his ground. “HetoldmeifIhadlethimpasthe would have kicked me in the nuts," he said post-race. "First of all, 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," he added. "W ith Checo, we couldn't have got past because his top speed was unbelievable. 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.” 31 GPWEEK.com // 31 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SINGAPORE PARTNERS: mad max