Force India admits it should've swapped F1 drivers in Canadian GP

Force India admits it probably should have imposed team orders to switch Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in the final stages of Formula 1's Canadian Grand Prix

Force India admits it should've swapped F1 drivers in Canadian GP

As the pair pursued Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in third place, Perez was reluctant to voluntarily move over for Ocon, who was on fresher tyres.

Who is winning F1's team-mate wars?

Both drivers failed to pass Ricciardo and were also passed by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on fresh tyres after making an extra stop, falling to finish fifth and sixth.

While Force India never went as far as imposing a direct order on Perez to move aside, COO Otmar Szafnauer concedes it may have been better to have done so.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing because you have more information," he said.

"What I would have done is perhaps swap them earlier - just after the Ferraris pitted. Do it then and it is easy.

"You can get your tyres back up to temperature and there is no risk from behind.

"Then, if it doesn't happen, you still have time to swap back.

"We didn't do that, we started discussing it a bit late and then after it was too late."

Szafnauer said pitwall debate was complicated because of concerns about losing time in a swap, and the risk of dropping tyre temperatures.

"You lose time when you swap, but more importantly, you lose tyre temperature - and tyre temperature is really critical," he said.

"So if you do that, you are not back up to speed straight away.

"We had the Ferraris charging, so there are ifs, ands and buts. Looking at it we, will analyse it.

"But had we swapped them I don't think Esteban would have got by [Ricciardo]."

MERCEDES: PEREZ PITSTOP WOULD'VE BEEN KEY

Mercedes strategy chief James Vowles believes Force India should have pitted Perez when Ocon came up behind him, dropping him in behind as a buffer for the Ferraris, rather than considering a swap.

Perez made his only pitstop on lap 19, while Ocon pitted on lap 32 and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel made even later stops on laps 41 and 49 of the 70.

"If they had boxed Perez they would have come out ahead of Kimi just after he had stopped, and that would have then put them in the situation where they had removed the options for Ferrari," Vowles suggested.

"Ferrari now have a car that was on 60 laps tyres at the end of the race, a very compromised car.

"We saw [Romain] Grosjean make it [after stopping on lap one] but it is not the fastest race, and if Vettel boxes he now comes out behind Perez, which is a complicated decision.

"It leaves Esteban trying to attack Ricciardo for that P3 and if he is not successful, Perez would have caught up again and allowed him the chance to overtake with much fresher tyres.

"That would have generated a good opportunity for Force India."

shares
comments
How can Lowe make Williams great again?
Previous article

How can Lowe make Williams great again?

Next article

Haas F1 team's vibe better than Magnussen found at other teams

Haas F1 team's vibe better than Magnussen found at other teams
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023