Retiring F1 driver Felipe Massa claimed that Carlos Sainz blocked him during qualifying for the Brazlian Grand Prix and believes the Renault driver did it on purpose.
Massa, competing in his final home Grand Prix around Interlagos, posted competitive times in practice but in qualifying he could only achieve P9, and he clearly pointed the finger at Sainz for what he felt was a deliberate attempt to get in his way.
A fuming Massa told Sky Sports F1:“I was very happy with qualifying until Q3 when I lost a lap because a driver disturbed me by purpose.
"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.
“I’m not starting in the position I want to. I was far 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.”
But Sainz immediately hit back and vehemently denied Massa's claims, calling out the Brazilian for his 'strong accusations'.
"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 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."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.