Following the duel between Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in the closing stages of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, Force India is to change its approach on team instructions.
Perez has also denied that he refused to comply with team orders to let Ocon by for a shot at overtaking eventual podium finisher Daniel Ricciardo, who was on slower tyres than the pair and older tyres than Ocon.
JA revealed that there were five conversations in total about the situation with Perez ahead of his team-mate, who ended up in sixth, just 0.240 seconds behind the Mexican.
The analysis also goes on to explain that Force India missed a potential podium for either driver in not pitting Perez for new tyres on lap 42 to implement a ‘pincer’ move on Ricciardo.
JA concluded that “Staying put and allowing the lead car on slower tyres to stay ahead was a lose-lose.”
However, Perez told Autosport on Tuesday that “the press has created these stories – because I’ve never disobeyed an order.
“All we had was a discussion about whether to let Ocon pass me.
“But I increased my speed and approached Ricciardo, and that was it. At no time did I ignore my team.
“I am here to give the best results to Force India and if I get an order, I will follow it. But here, there was no order.”
Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley said, “maybe have to review our positions on how we do things in the future.
“If we have to change the policy of how we work, that is a separate decision. We have always allowed the drivers to race.
“We should not have recriminations on that at the end of the day.
“From a fan point of view, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot complain when people make switches [between drivers] and say they want them to race, and when they race say you want it the other way around.
“So, our policy has been let them race and that is what we did.”
Team Principal Vijay Mallya also tweeted: “our policy of no team orders continues but I will specify guidelines to achieve best team result”
However, Chief Operating Office Otmar Szafnauer told Auto Motor und Sport that neither driver had a chance at earning a podium spot, nor was there a chance to keep Vettel, who had overtaken the duo with just a couple of laps to go, at bay.
“In order to overtake Ricciardo, we would have to have been faster than him by a second per lap. That was neither the case for Perez nor Ocon,” said Szafnauer
“If Sergio couldn’t pass Ricciardo as one of the best overtakers in the field and Esteban could not overtake Perez, we can’t expect Ocon to have passed Ricciardo.
“The Ferrari is a faster car than ours.
“Vettel had softer and newer tires than we did. It would be naive to believe that he would not have overtaken us if we had not changed the order.”
“We have given Esteban half a year to acclimatise with us. He made it before the end of the first half of the season and is getting closer and closer to Sergio,” said Technical Director Andy Green to Auto Motor und Sport.
“That shows that we have chosen the right driver.”
Ocon said after the race, “I am confident it won’t be the last time we will fight at this level and it was an awesome feeling – a really enjoyable race.
“Just a shame we couldn’t overtake Ricciardo,” he added.
“My time will come.”
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