Lotus insist there were no team orders at the Korean Grand Prix and say they will keep that policy at Japan this weekend…
Lotus insist there were no team orders at the Korean Grand Prix and say they will keep that policy at Japan this weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were battling over second place during the closing stages at the Yeongam track on Sunday, but the latter was told not to risk anything and he eventually finished third.
Team principal Eric Boullier dismissed suggestions they used team orders.
“We want our drivers to race for the best results for the team, so if you have the opportunity of a two-three with both drivers – and there is no Drivers’ Championship consideration – you will let them fight for the positions and rely on their good sense not to take each other off,” he said.
“Of course, we have had occasions where one driver is on a different strategy from the other and has the pace to challenge for positions ahead – which is when you might ask the slower driver to make the sensible decision – but this wasn’t the case in Korea; we let Kimi and Romain fight for position.
“We may have been a little nervous occasionally on the pit wall, but both drove superbly to help achieve a great result for the team.”
Grosjean was clearly frustrated during radio conversations with the team and he was told after the chequered flag to put on a “big ******* smile on the podium”.
Boullier believes the transmissions didn’t tell the full story.
“You have to remember that the television feed only takes certain edits from radio transmissions between the driver and the pit wall,” he said. “We had Romain asking for Kimi to let him by as he felt he was faster, but we wanted to leave the drivers to determine their positions by racing on track which is why we were telling Romain to race Kimi.
“As we know, Kimi doesn’t want to talk too much to the pit wall and doesn’t need words of encouragement; he knows what he’s doing and we saw that once more in Korea.”