- Lotus news
The team should come first - Boullier
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has criticised the way Red Bull managed its drivers at the Malaysian Grand Prix following the controversy over team orders.
Sebastian Vettel ignored a direct team order to hold position behind Mark Webber as the pair ran first and second towards the end of the race at Sepang. Christian Horner said earlier this week that the rift between his drivers had been smoothed over, but Boullier thinks it should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.
"Yes, it happens because of the adrenaline and excitement of winning a race, but I think in Formula One 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 [Kimi Raikkonen] is famous for doing pretty much what he wants, but when you have 600 people behind you, there is a certain respect you must have for the team."
Boullier added that it must be made clear that the team is more important than the drivers.
"Team orders are part of the sport. You have two main strategies to run a team. 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."