Although Toro Rosso twice ordered Max Verstappen to move over for Carlos Sainz in Singapore, Franz Tost says he was “right” not to do so.
As Sunday’s 61-lap Singapore Grand Prix drew to a close, Verstappen was told by the pit wall to let team-mate Sainz pass.
He responded: “No!”
He was again told to move over but as they raced through the final corners Verstappen refused to yield and finished P8 to his team-mate’s P9.
But rather than get frustrated with his driver, team principal Tost says the 17-year-old was right not to move over as Sainz was not close enough.
“The team wanted to swap positions because we thought Carlos was faster with the new tyres, but this was not the case, he could not catch up,” Tost said.
“He was too far away, so Max said no, and he was right.
“I said over the intercom if Carlos is not close then it makes no sense to swap positions because he would never get Perez as he is too far behind.”
“Max was right because Carlos was simply too far away, between three and five tenths behind.
“You have to catch up, and he [Sainz] should have shown at first he was capable of overtaking Max before then trying to catch Perez.”