Too early for team orders, says Boullier

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Sepang, 2013Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says drivers should obey team orders when they are given but added it’s too early in the season to be using them.

Boullier added he had experience of drivers disobeying team orders, as happened with Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia: “Yes, it happens because of the adrenaline and excitement of winning a race, but I think in Formula 1 it should not happen,” he said.

“Firstly, we should not have team orders so early in the season; not while the championship is at such an early stage. When it happens you need to fix it and fix it quickly.

“Yes, one of our drivers [is] famous for doing pretty much what we wants, but when you have 600 people behind you, there is a certain respect you must have for the team.”

In Bahrain last year Romain Grosjean was told not to hold Kimi Raikkonen up when his team mate was catching him during the race.

According to Boullier teams face two choices when deciding how to issue orders too their drivers: “You might favour one driver, clearly stating ‘driver number one’ and ‘driver number two’ if your target is chasing the drivers’ championship title.”

“Alternatively you have both drivers equal, as this is the way you want to go racing, meaning the team holds a lot of importance. The team gives both drivers the same cars, the same conditions, the same performance, but there is a commitment from the team to the drivers.”

“In that case I can understand team orders, because you are working for the team, not for the drivers; they are working for you. Sometimes it seems that emotion takes over, but don’t forget that the drivers are paid to work for you, as they are for the company.

“I don’t see any people in the world who could disobey their company and not be sanctioned, or at least give clarification as to why they?ve disobeyed.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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36 comments on Too early for team orders, says Boullier

  1. TMF (@tmf42) said on 6th April 2013, 9:15

    Imo, the WCC became too important for teams because there’s the money. In general I’d favor an approach where money is split equally and not by points because then you’d have a closer field.
    A compromise could be to split 50% of the profits based on points and 50% equally and give a bonus to the team that also wins the WDC.
    Banning team orders will not work you, but reducing the need for them should.

  2. bimo said on 6th April 2013, 14:10

    I think people got a little confuse about the difference between team-order and team-strategy, it is non-sense to have slower car holding your teammate pace. Maybe this is a political propaganda from Ferrari so people distracted from discussing contractual team-order.

  3. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 6th April 2013, 19:54

    I completely agree with Boullier.

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