Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer has stressed that it is not so easy to defy team orders after Sergio Perez was asked to give the win to Max Verstappen in Barcelona.
Perez was twice told to move over and let his team-mate by last weekend, once when the Dutchman ran off at Turn Four, and again when Verstappen came up behind him on fresher Mediums having made the three-stop strategy work.
The Mexican told Red Bull that the decision to tell him to move over twice was “very unfair,” but Palmer details the potential consequences of not being a team player.
“As a driver you can’t ignore team orders because ultimately you have to follow the wishes of the team – they are the ones who pay your salary,” he said on his Formula1.com column.
“This is particularly true if you haven’t got the clout of a Verstappen or Hamilton, with championships and form behind them to potentially disobey the team and have an argument about it afterwards.
“Most drivers’ position in a team is precarious enough that they must follow their instructions; if not they are replaceable.”
Perez said after the race that, had he mirrored the reigning champion’s strategy in Spain, he might have been on the top step for the third time in his career.
“I think what was clear was that the three-stop was a better race, race time, and the various strategies, so I think if I went in that direction, I would have won the race,” he explained.
“And it worked out for Max. I think that was something we discussed. It was good because we didn’t know at the time which strategy was going to be the best one.
“When I was on the two-stop I felt that I could have gone through Max and George a bit earlier to try and make the strategy work, but probably it wouldn’t have been enough.”
However, the 32-year-old assured that all is well within the team; he just needed to smooth out what happened on Sunday
“It still is a great team result, the season is still very young, and I think the momentum in the team is great,” added Perez.
“So we just have to discuss a few things internally. There’s nothing that I’m concerned of.”
Red Bull’s one-two in Barcelona was the 19th in their history, and the first time that have managed more than one in a season since 2013.