Carlos Sainz Jnr rejected Felipe Massa’s claim he deliberately held up the Williams driver during Q3 at Interlagos.
The Williams and Renault drivers pointed fingers at each other after their encounter in qualifying and previous run-in during practice yesterday.
“It’s a very strong accusation to say I did something on purpose,” Sainz told the media after qualifying.
Sainz said he was held up by the Williams driver during the top ten qualifying shoot-out. “He could have got out of the way before turn four,” he said. “I had to do turn four all the way behind him. I was impeded him for two or three tenths in my first lap of Q3.”
Massa then confronted Sainz about the incident after the session. “He started complaining, talking about yesterday,” said Sainz. “It’s something I don’t really understand at the moment.”
“He was talking about yesterday and today. I don’t know, I wasn’t really listening because for me it isn’t worth it.”
However Massa told the media he is “not starting in the position I’m supposed to” because Sainz held him up and wants the stewards to investigate the incident.
“I was very happy with the qualifying until Q3 when it just lose a lap because a driver disturb you by purpose,” he said. “It’s really disappointing.”
“I was much more in front of him when I left the garage. And I spoke to my engineer ‘he’s in a lap or not?’ And he said ‘yeah he’s in a lap’ so after corner five I let him go.”
“But I was a lot more in front than him and he was completely in front of me, very close. For sure I lost a lot of time, you can see in the lap time.”
According to Massa, Sainz accused him of impeding during yesterday’s practice session.
“I said ‘you disturb me by purpose?’ He said ‘yes, I did because you disturb me [in] the weekend.’ I said ‘yeah because I disturb you maybe one lap in the long run yesterday’.”
“I would never do this by purpose to a driver. That is too much.”