Carlos Sainz: “There are absolutely no issues, I promise.”

Tensions between the pair erupted once again at the Australian Grand Prix when Verstappen was left furious about team strategy and Sainz refusing to follow orders to let him past.

But Sainz has downplayed matters, and said that the team had come to the conclusion that he was right not to move aside for his Dutch team mate as they battled for position.

When asked by if ignoring the orders cast his mind back to Verstappen doing the same in Singapore last year, he said: “I did, I did.

“But in the end we all know there was nothing wrong with what I did. We all agreed it was due to the circumstances. There was a lot going in that sense.

“Now looking back, we all know it [giving orders] was not the right thing to do. We were just struggling to understand what to do and what was going on.”

Moving on

Sainz believes that the situation in the Australian race had been blown out of proportion by the frequent radio messages being played on television, as he said he felt no need to speak to Verstappen about what happened.

“We had a [debrief] meeting obviously,” he said. “We were both a bit not knowing what has happened, what was going on, but I’m convinced there will be no issues.

“There’s actually nothing to talk about. If you think about the race, what do you need to talk about? Nothing.

“We were just both fighting for position a lot. It’s all sorted and there are absolutely no issues, I promise.”

Tough rivalry

The Australian GP was not the first time that Sainz and Verstappen have been involved in a close fight for positions.

And although their competitiveness could open the door for difficulties in the future, Sainz does not think Toro Rosso will be damaged by the internal competition.

“Hopefully not,” he said. “I absolutely have no problems with Max. Today from my side to him nothing happened. It was just one more race.

“Maybe Max and me are the closest team mates [in performance terms] of all the team mates. We are always within half a tenth from each other, we are always in the same track position, always one second off from each other. So it makes it more tough for the team in that sense.

“But I think we are both mature enough to handle it. Obviously there are emotions during the race. Obviously there is a lot going on. But looking back on the race, we were both just fighting like hell through the whole race.

“It was a good show in terms of overtaking all the way through the race. It just didn’t work for us both today.”