Felipe Massa accuses Carlos Sainz of deliberate block in Brazilian GP Qualifying
Massa calls for stewards to take action; Sainz refutes allegations
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 16/11/17 10:43am
Felipe Massa has accused Carlos Sainz of deliberately blocking him in the final part of Qualifying for the Brazilian GP.
Massa has also called upon the Interlagos stewards to investigate and penalise the Spaniard.
Sainz, though, has categorically denied the Brazilian's allegations, insisting he would never hold up a driver on purpose.
Massa, in his final home grand prix before retirement, had posted competitive times in Q1 and Q2 but had to abandon his first lap in Q3 after being disrupted by Sainz.
"I was very happy with Qualifying until Q3 when I lost a lap because a driver disturbed you by purpose. Then it's really disappointing," Massa told Sky F1.
"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.
"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."
While his best Q2 time would have been enough to start Sunday's race sixth, Massa will instead line up ninth on the grid after having to complete his sole Q3 run in light drizzle.
Sainz is due to start immediately ahead of Massa, provided he faces no retrospective action from the stewards, and denied deliberately holding up the Brazilian veteran.
"No, not at all," Sainz said when asked by Sky F1's Rachel Brookes if he had admitted to deliberately blocking 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."