Sergio Perez appeared to ignore Force India team orders to let teammate Esteban Ocon pass him late in the Canadian Grand Prix Sunday, possibly costing Force India a podium finish.
Force India duo were running nose-to-tail when Perez was told to let Ocon pass because he had fresher tires and a better chance to catch Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Perez responded: “Let us race, man. Please.”
The Mexican said afterward that he was waiting for Ricciardo to make a mistake, and it never happened.
Although Sebastien Vettel passed them both, Perez held on to finish fifth – just ahead of his teammate. Ocon radioed in: “He cannot do that. That’s not fair racing at all.”
“I spent the whole race behind Daniel, in his DRS window – I was really close to him,” Perez told reporters.
“All I needed from Daniel was a single mistake, a single lock-up, and he basically drove a perfect race.
“When the team asked me to let [Ocon] by, we were going to lap some cars, so I asked them to give me the chance because we had some traffic and that’s all I needed, I was always in [Ricciardo’s] DRS zone.
“In the end I had 40 or so laps to put the move on Ricciardo and he didn’t make a mistake. Esteban had those laps behind me on a much fresher tyre, and he was never close enough to me to make a move.”
Ocon, meanwhile, believes he was the victim of partial treatment.
“I was frustrated more with the move he did, which wasn’t fair,” Ocon said.
“He did a very late move at very high speed which could have left us both out of the race. That would have been horrible for me, him and the team as well.
“It was a great race, just a shame I didn’t get the chance to pass Ricciardo. I think I had the pace by far to do it, so the podium was possible for me today.
“That’s racing sometimes, we have to discuss what happened in the debriefing room. My time will come.”