Accusations fly between Massa and Sainz

Date published: November 11 2017

Felipe Massa and Carlos Sainz have pointed fingers at each other for blocking after the retiring Brazilian was forced to abort his lap of Q3.

There were big cheers from the home crowd as Massa posted some very competitive times in Q1 and Q2, but he was unable to make it a clean sweep and is due to start Sunday's race from P9. His best lap in Q2 would have been good enough for P6.

“I was very happy with the Qualifying until Q3 when I lost a lap because a driver disturbed you by purpose," Massa told Sky F1.

"Then it’s really disappointing.

“I think if you make a mistake it’s something but this was not a mistake, it was on purpose. I’m really disappointed and I spoke to him.

“Then it was raining and I didn’t put the lap time together. I’m not starting in the position I want to.

“I was much more in front of him when I left the garage. I spoke to my engineer to see if he was on a lap and after Turn Five I let him go. He was very close in front of me and I lost a lot of lap time.

“He said he disturbed me on purpose because I disturbed him earlier in the weekend. Maybe I disturbed him on the long run yesterday but I will never do this on purpose to a driver. This is too much.

"I hope the stewards follow the right direction.”

Sainz, though, due to start P8 unless the stewards intervene, categorically denied Massa's allegations.

No, not at all," Sainz said when asked if he deliberately blocked Massa.

"I think it's a very strong accusation to say that I did something on purpose.

"What I'm sure is that he could have got out of the way earlier at Turn Four and I had to do Turn Four behind him and I was actually impeded by him by two or three tenths on my first lap of Q3.

"He was telling me about yesterday and today and I wasn't really listening because for me, that's not worth it.

"Yesterday we had some issues on track for sure, but today, in qualifying, I will never take a risk to impede someone."