Verstappen was hugely impressive in qualifying, securing a fifth place spot on the Australian GP's grid, but a botched pit stop in the race left him behind Sainz and fighting his team mate for position.
Several times, the Dutchman urged his team over the radio, in no uncertain terms, to ask the Spaniard to move over, but to no avail as the latter defended his position to the end.
Verstappen's verbal rage and behaviour left many pundits unimpressed, with the Sky Sports F1 crew unanimous in their view that the young prodigy needs to rely on his race craft rather than on his team when it comes to beating his team mate.
"Verstappen showed his age," said Martin Brundle.
The sentiment was echoed by Damon Hill: "These were the first signs of immaturity we have seen from Max."
Third-man Johnny Herbert was just as critical: "If you're faster than your team mate as Max claims to be, than you need to pass him and not ask the team for help."
While Sainz and Verstappen, who are both viewed as future F1 superstars, appear to enjoy a good relationship at Toro Rosso, Martin Brundle believes that may not last, and the bickering may just be getting started.
"The squabble between these two emerging stars in Formula 1 is going to be like Hamilton and Rosberg - but probably even more intense."
As for Verstappen himself, asked what he thought of his team's management of team orders, the Toro Rosso driver said he was unconcerned.
"To be honest I don't know and I don't care," he said. "Normally I should be miles ahead [of Sainz]. It should be fine [in future]."