After Force India secured a 5-6 finish at the Canadian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez has denied that he ignored team orders in the race which may have cost the team their first podium finish of 2017 and Esteban Ocon’s first of his short career.
Sergio Perez denies ignoring team orders in Canada
In the closing laps of the race at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve, Perez and Ocon were sitting in fourth and fifth place, close on the back of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo who was sitting in third. This is when an argument between the pair erupted on team radio, with Ocon believing that he was faster than Perez and could challenge while Perez disagreed, believing that he could challenge.
“It was not a team order, but a discussion on the radio,” Perez said when asked about the situation. “I told the team my arguments, and they accepted them.”
This is something that Mercedes’ Niki Lauda disagreed with however, believing that Perez was in the wrong, calling him “selfish” in a quote in Finland’s Ilta Sanomat newspaper.
Toto Wolff also agreed with Lauda: “This season is so important to score points and Ferrari had a bit of luck that the two Force Indias were doing crazy things,” suggesting that team orders should have been used to let Ocon past Perez to challenge Ricciardo for the final step on the podium.
So far in 2017, the Force India pair of Perez and Ocon have consistently impressed the F1 paddock, securing a double points finish at every race so far this season apart from at the Monaco Grand Prix. As the F1 circus next heads to Azerbaijan, the pair will be looking to repeat previous results this season, and potentially eye up a podium finish around the track that theoretically does not benefit Red Bull Racing with their Renault power unit.