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
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021