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IF you’ve listened to our Canadian Grand Prix race review podcast, then you’ll know that both Paul and I felt the Force India situation during the race was a great problem to have for the team.

While we both thought Esteban Ocon had officially announced himself in Formula 1 and he had a terrific run on Sunday as well as the best chance of passing Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull for a podium position, we also understood Sergio Perez’s dog-eat-dog approach and unwillingness to move for his quicker teammate.

Having said that, I explained that Force India made an error by not recognizing their best chance for a podium and initially they were fine with the altercation and result of Perez ignoring the team hints to move over for his teammate. It now seems that team boss Bob Fernley is reconsidering that position slightly and probably for the reasons I mentioned on the podcast.

“I think we have just got to look at it.

“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.”

When the team has a chance to get its car and sponsor on the podium, you do it. Period. Regardless of the virtuous notion of letting the drivers race, you have an obligation to maximize your potential for those who are paying the bills. 

The team should have demanded Perez move over and returned the position should Ocon failed to pass Ricciardo. HOWEVER, he does have a very salient point to make here and while I may feel this way, there are many fans who feel very differently about team orders or moving cars around during a race.

Would you be put off by giving Ocon a shot and them moving him back if he failed? Some might be and that’s what Bob is speaking about. I’m not one of those fans as I feel it’s a team sport and using all your weapons during a race is fun to watch. You may feel differently though.

hat tip: Autosport

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Ocon, Perez brings more money than you. Do you understand the message?

    • Max Johnson

      Force India understood well, which is why they defended him. However, Ocon is Mercedes property, if they are unhappy with how Force India treat him, they will take him elsewhere.

  • Salvu Borg

    The situation at Force India.
    One of their drivers asks his team so as his team mate lets him through, the team first tells his team mate to let him through and after that they then gave him three laps to overtake the car in front before having to let his team mate through, (when it was too late and so useless) they then tell him that if the scope is not successful his place will be given back.
    As regards team interests and them putting their sponsors on the podium, Sponsors wise, both their drivers are regarded as sponsors, Sergio Perez is said to be worth $30-40 million, Esteban Ocon is said to come with partly paid salary and engine supply discount.
    I don’t see Force India can do much about such situation.

    • Their drivers do have backing for sure and I am not in their team management meetings to discover which logo on their cars are there because of the driver that brought them but I also know FI is really good an running down new sponsor opportunities and they have their own sponsors as well. Do they equal the amount both drivers are bringing? To your point, perhaps not.

      I think a team still has to maximize its opportunities and seek the podium if it is possible and it is rumored that Perez is leaving t the end of this season so there is that to contemplate as well.

      • Salvu Borg

        If Perez walks next year and Force India with a car that have the most stickers on the grid couldn’t get another driver with similar sponsorship money, even with Ocon’s Mercedes connections, it would be difficult for Force India to survive.

  • jakobusvdl

    Two car teams is the problem, each team gets one car, one driver, one set of engineers and mechanics, no more team orders, no more problem.

  • Zachary Noepe

    I think asking a proud Latino man to drive a pink car is already so immasculating, one must understand when he feels the indignity has got to stop somewhere.

  • Schumi Toronto

    I found this today at TheJudge13!

  • Schumi Toronto
  • Formerly Known As

    Nothing like a good scandal or controversy to maximize exposure.

    FOM cameras were glued to those two pink cars while they were fighting on and off track.

    Plus, we are still talking about what is clearly an internal matter, even after a couple of days later. Sponsors must be delighted.

    I’m glad Perez defied his bosses but I am equally glad that Ocon felt shafted. Now there are two more entertaining intra team battles going on in F1. Makes for good watching and hopefully, racing.

  • Salvu Borg

    BOB FERNELY:> “There were no orders given, so no orders were ignored”. can anybody figure that out?.

    • jakobusvdl

      I think it means ‘nothing to see here, no story, no argument, no fight, move on’

      • Salvu Borg

        “I think it means ‘nothing to see here, no story, no argument, no fight, move on”. That is exactly what Bob Fernely meant, no mistake about it.
        A lot of people tried their best to kick-up a lot of dust on this matter,
        Fired-up by that section of the usual media, but this time the villain was the driver and not the team, and a note here so as not to be misunderstood, if I was his team manager, no matter the amount of money he brings to the team, after the flag he would have had to go looking for a drive elsewhere, and if the team owner wouldn’t have liked that, he would have had to choose between him and me.
        Anyhow, in my opinion most of the dust raised/having been kicked-up over this matter wasn’t of genuine concern due to Force India (the team) but had more to do with possibility that the race winner would have added a couple more points to his take, number 5 supper effort at minimizing the damage incurred at start of race didn’t go down well with some.

        • jakobusvdl

          I remember Pat Symonds talking about Williams having ‘rules of engagement’ for the drivers. It would make sense that the teams would set out their expectations about team orders, not hampering your team mate, not abusing the team, team mate, sponsors etc, etc. I expect that all teams have something like that, so that if the circumstances we saw at the weekend arise, everyone knows what they have agreed to do.
          If F.I genuinely have ‘no team orders’, ‘race your team mate’ rules of engagement, then fair enough, there is nothing to see here. But if that’s not the case, then Perez must recieve some punishment from the team for losing them a potential podium, and breaking his word.

          • Salvu Borg

            I believe that every team on the grid will have “rules of engagement”. I don’t believe it is possible for any team not to have team orders when need be. as to a driver refusing team orders, in my opinion there should be no IFS OR BUTS, there should be no other way about it, but for him to be fired on the spot whatever the Consequences.

        • Formerly Known As

          Another delusional comment to attack Lewis Hamilton and his supporters. He really does live in your head. How tedious and boring.

          All racing fans were praising both Lewis and Seb in Montreal, Lewis on Saturday and Seb on Sunday. Great efforts from both champions.

          But you, on the other hand still managed to make it just about Hamilton.

          Seriously, how do you connect the controversy at Force India with Hamilton and his fans? It’s delusional. Worse than fanboy mentality bordering on obsession. Where is the proof that Hamilton supporters were the only one upset about the Force India situation? None. Only in your head.

          It’s like SIX DEGREES OF HAMILTON with you all the time. Charge him rent already.

          The Senna Family tribute to Lewis must have not gone down well with you.

          • Salvu Borg

            As I said, this Force India kicked-up “BY SOME” melodrama was this time different to previous once, this time the villain was the driver and not the team for “SOME’, a reaction which really exposed these “SOME” for the principles they stand for when and where it suits them.
            As to the Senna family tribute in regaling a replica helmet, it being a replica speaks a lot, within twenty four hours we got to know (and this time was the second time) that an original being regaled was sold for peanuts by the receiver.

          • Formerly Known As

            Who are these “SOME” you are talking about and how can you prove that these “SOME” were upset at Perez because it allowed Vettel to move up the points. You seriously cannot provide proof. None. You did say that it was your opinion because it was obvious it stood for what you represent, when and where it suits you – delusional.

            Once again, like always, it comes down to your obessession with Hamilton and his fans. Great first half of the comment and then the second half is a dig at Hamilton and his fans. You can’t help yourself because he resides in your head.

            I’ve already read alot of comments from known Vettel fans, known Max fans, known Kimi fans, known Alonso fans and known Hamilton fans who are all upset at Sergio for not giving Ocon a chance to pass Ric. In the same token, I have also read alot of comments from known Vettel fans, known Max fans, known Kimi fans, known Alonso fans and known Hamilton fans that they didn’t like that Perez was asked to move out. No one said that “Perez should have let Ocon through so that Seb remained in 6th or 7th for the sake of Hamilton’s title bid. ” No one. Because it’s preposterous.

            What I read was real racing fans, regardless of who they support, offering their opinions with regards to team orders. It is only you who tied the Force India controversy to Lewis Hamilton. Only you did. Preposterous.

            If you really wanted to analyze the race, it wasn’t Perez refusal to move that gave Seb 4th place. It was Seb’s incredible pace in an amazing car that did. Even if Perez let Ocon through and Ocon did manage to pass Ric, Seb looked like he still had the pace to pass both Sergio and Daniel for 4th, regardless. He was the fast on Sunday. What needs to be analyzed is, did the incompetent Ferrari strategist cost Seb a podium by not spotting the damage early so that they could have pit him during the safety car period. Everyone watching could see the damage in Seb’s front wing except for Ferrari. They also seemed to have miscalculated the amount of time he needed to catch the 4 cars ahead of him. They could have pitted him earlier because he ran out of laps to pass Ric for 3rd place. It was actually another bungle by Ferrari pit that cost Vettel a podium. It would have been an even greater result had Ferrari been more competent.

            The fact that you were so quick to point out that the helmet was fake proved that the gesture of the Senna Family prior to it being known that it was a replica bothered you. You are actually rejoicing the fact that it was a replica.

            The fact is, it was the gesture that was important. This is not the first time that the Senna Family have honoured Ayrton’s most famous fan. What it says is that they think very highly of Hamilton and how Hamilton thinks so highly of Senna.

            Besides, it was Will Buxton who told Lewis and the crowd, live on camera, that it was not a replica, but a race worn one. Who knows what Buxton was told. Was he told by the Senna Family that it was race worn or did he assume that it was? Someone asked Buxton on twitter why he said “race worn” but he still hasn’t given a direct answer.

            Buxton did say this:

            “Travel & insurance. As I understand it the real one is in Monaco and will be delivered to him when he gets home. Senna’s first Monaco win.”

            I doubt the one that was sold that you mentioned was as valuable as the helmet used in Senna’s first Monaco win.

          • Salvu Borg

            The ‘SOME’ I was talking about were all over their usual F1 discussion sites complaining that while Perez did not let his team mate through he let Vettel through with easy, actually made way for Vettel, and that was why they bad mouthed the driver (Perez) this time and not the team.
            The actually used helmet I was talking about was one that Senna actually used/raced in when he switched from McLaren to Williams in 94, he gave it to Silvester Stallone who in turn later on sold it for 40750 US dollars.
            And yes no doubt that Vettel’s pace was Incredible and truly masterful, as was the SF70H race pace.

          • Formerly Known As

            There is still no proof from you that those “SOME” were the only ones kicking up dust about the FI team orders controversy. In fact, everyone is talking about this. Not just publications or supporters that are pro-Hamilton. Everyone. It is being talked about in German, Spanish, French, Italian and even Maltese newspapers.

            From the Malta Independent:

            “The pink Force India cars of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were fifth and sixth after battling each other on the track — and over the radio — for position down the stretch. After Perez was told to let Ocon pass so he could challenge Ricciardo on his fresher tires, he radioed back: “Let us race, man. Please.”

            Ocon responded on his way in: “He cannot do that. That’s not fair racing at all.”

            To suggest that the only ones making a big deal out of this are pro-Hamilton publications or his supporters is delusional.

            Sadly, it’s the same old, tedious, boring and paranoid comment from you about Hamilton and his supporters.

            At least, let Force India enjoy some spotlight. The pink cars, despite their bickering, actually did well in Montreal with both cars finishing in the top six maintaining their 4th place in the WCC standings. I know you are obsessed with Lewis but F1 is not always about Hamilton.

            And for your information, team orders has always been a contentious issue in F1 especially since Ferrari asked Rubens to move over for Scumacher in Austria. People have strong feelings about it and some blame the team and some blame the driver. So this is no different this time, contrary to what your spouting, that they are now blaming the driver because they wanted Hamilton to further reduce his deficit to Vettel. I remember Sebastian being crucified for defying team orders in Malaysia, now known as Multi-21. Hamilton, in the same race, also gained scorn for his refusal to let Nico through. I also remember Mark Webber being lambasted for giving Seb a hard time in Brazil 2012. Sebastian again being criticized for defying Redbull in Bahrain in 2014 when they asked him to make way for Ricciardo. “Tough luck”, he replied. Hamilton, in the same year, was scolded by some fans for defying team orders in Hungary in a similar situation to Perez and Ocon. This is not the first time fans or the media blamed the driver.

            I actually commend all the defiers. I don’t like team orders and if you want to pass me, pass me on the track because I’m not moving over. So hooray for Perez.

            Despite Force India’s denial about team orders being issued in Canada, the radio transmissions do not lie – Perez was indeed instructed to let Ocon pass and he disobeyed them.

            57 To Sergio Perez

            “Checo at the end of this lap we would like to give you three laps to attack Ricciardo. Otherwise we will have to switch. Ferraris are closing.”

            57 From Sergio Perez

            “It’s a waste of time, man. Ricciardo is degging off. I want the chance to overtake him. I mean, let us race, man. Please.”

            Proof. Pudding.

            FYI, The helmet Senna gave to Stallone was only used in testing.

            Heritage Auctions, who handled the sale, explained on their website: “This was the helmet design that Ayrton Senna wore in 1994 when he switched to the Williams F1 team from McLaren and this helmet in particular was one of the actual ones Senna wore during testing of the car in 1994.”

            Surely you can’t compare the value of a helmet Senna used in testing to the helmet he used when he won Monaco for the 1st time. I can tell you now which one will be more valuable.

            But who cares how much it is worth. To Hamilton it is priceless, especially since it will be gifted to him by the family of his hero. Something you probably will never experience nor understand.

          • Salvu Borg

            Birds of feather not only flock together but they only sing what the others in the flock would like to hear.
            The “SOME” I was talking about where all over their usual nestling places, egged-on by their usual pushers, they were all out expressing their deep sympathy for the team and their anger for the driver for not letting his team mate through but then letting Vettel through.
            This was different, this was not FERRARI giving team orders and screwing one of its drivers, this was like when Mercedes gave team orders to one of its drivers to let the other through which was as it should be, because it was the driver they support, not only that, but they were egging the team to declare the driver they support to be given number one status, while at the same time they and the driver concerned were sort of scandalized that FERRARI gave one of its drivers number one status.
            The ones which I was talking about are hypocrites of the first order that knows no shame and are devoid of any principles in life, they comes complete with an authenticated pedigree certificate in pure hypocrisy.

          • Formerly Known As

            Taipan, Nakagoli and Sunny, birds of a feather flocking together singing only what the flock wants to hear, “We want to hear more Hamilton comments please. We know it’s not a Lewis article but we want to hear more about him and his hair and tattoos. Please, pretty please.”

            Oh, the hypocrisy.

            Hypocrites of the first order indeed, who knows no shame and are devoid of any principles in life. That’s why the flock died. Only Nakagoli is left preaching but hardly anyone is listening anymore. No principles.

            Of course, this is different. It’s not about Ferrari or Mercedes. It’s certainly has nothing to do with Hamilton. It’s about Force India and it’s drivers. But once again, you tried this push out and are now kicking up dust that it is really about Hamilton. It isn’t and you are even trying to bait jak to say that it is so. I’m knew he wouldn’t and I’m glad he didn’t because most of the posters here have some sense left in them.

            As I’ve said, it’s the same old, tedious, boring, paranoid and senseless comment from you about Hamilton and his supporters.

            And of course, as usual with you and your flock, there is no proof just biased opinions.

            Pease show us at least two (SOME) who are pushing this agenda that Perez needs to be scolded because he jeopardized Lewis’ title chances by allowing Vettel through.

            I remember you rejoicing the fact that I provided facts, dates and quotes to a discussion and you even called it a useful contribution.

            So I guess since you can’t provide facts, dates and quotes to back up your claims about the connection between the Force India team order controversy to Hamilton, we’re gonna have to call your comments “as useless a comment one could expect from a Hamilton obsessed poster.”

            Not everything in F1 is about Lewis Hamilton.

          • Salvu Borg

            The same recycled BLAB BLAB BLAB, practing the same act here.

          • Formerly Known As

            I’m not the one who keeps bringing up Hamilton on every article, including non-Hamilton ones. It’s an act that we have been accustomed to every time you post. There is only one actor in this one man play and it isn’t me.

            SOME”, “SOME”, and more “SOME”. Sounds a lot like the same old BLAH, BLAH, and more BLAH.

            Meanwhile, the whole world, from UK to Malta is pushing the narrative that Perez defied his team’s order, which the radio transcripts confirmed. No one, however, has confirmed that they are pointing a finger at the driver because it affected Hamilton’s title bid. No one.

            Only someone obsessed with Lewis Hamilton, such as yourself, thinks so.

          • Salvu Borg

            and yet the “stand-up” still practicing the same acts.

          • Formerly Known As

            Yup, you are actually the longest running show on the internet.

          • Salvu Borg

            everybody and his dog knows a stand-up comedian practicing when they read one.

          • Formerly Known As

            Yup, that’s why you’re the longest running comedy show on the internet. Even the dogs know.