Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz hit out at Volkswagen teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah after the duo made contact during Friday's penultimate stage of the event.
Al-Attiyah managed to reduce the gap to Sainz to just two minutes and 48 seconds going into the final day after he beat the Spaniard by over two and a half minutes in today's stage. Sainz had started ahead of his teammate and their cars made contact when Al-Attiyah passed the Spaniard near the end of the special. The former World Rally Champion said the Qatari then started to drive defensively to stop him from taking the lead back, a move Sainz labeled as unsporting.
"Logically, he was behind, I was overtaking bikes in the dust, and at one point he overtook me and he touched me and started weaving in front of me," Sainz said. "I don't think that's very sporting. If I, when I was seeing him in my mirrors, had started weaving, I'm sure he wouldn't have overtaken me. It's not normal that your teammate hits you."
Al-Attiyah suggested Sainz should have moved over to let him pass.
"No, nothing," he said when asked if he felt he had done anything wrong.
The incident lends a dramatic edge to tomorrow's decisive final stage that returns the competitors to Buenos Aires.