Force India drivers to get a talking to

Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer. Malaysian Grand Prix, Friday 22nd March 2013. Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

No surprise here that I would agree with Otmar Szafnauer on his sentinment that the thing you don’t do in Formula 1 is hit your teammate. That’s exactly what happened in Baku last weekend and it spoiled yet another podium chance for the second race in a row and that stings.

Otmar says the team will review the situation and speak with the drivers.

“The worst thing you can do is hit your team-mate because it gives other teams opportunities that they really shouldn’t have had,” said Szafnauer.

“It is pretty tricky too because it is a street circuit, and anywhere else Checo would have been able to move over a bit and they would have been fine.

“But there is a wall there.

“We will definitely review it in a professional manner, talk to the drivers and say this is unacceptable.

“We cannot be running into each other.

“It’s bad enough if you run into a competitor because that can damage your race, but not your team-mate because that can take you both out.

“They understand that. They are intelligent guys.”

We discussed this on the race review podcast and how it may be difficult in a team where drivers are bring large portions of the team’s operating budget but still, the team has to come first and trying to get that message conveyed and agreed to when paying drivers are all about their personal career arc, well, that has to be a tough sell.

Force India had two chances in a row to score a podium and have missed those opportunities and this doesn’t send the best message to their sponsors. We also wondered, in last week’s podcast, if the team were making the strategy calls that resemble a team who can podium in the race. Williams seemed to struggle with that a few years ago with an almost shocked sense of, “hey, we’re faster this year than we’ve been and we could win races…we’d better get our race strategy set for podiums, not just in the points” kind of notion.

I think Force India has to make some immediate adjustments to prevent teammate battles/collisions and start taking full advantage of possible podiums when they present themselves. Certainly, they know that better than I do but nonetheless, they have been able to achieve that goal.

I have confidence they will the next time the opportunity presents itself.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Yes they need to have a team talk. But last race Checo burned Ocon, so he can’t expect Ocon to be his biggest fan. As a manager, I would say that they each burned the other once and now they are even. From now on, the team needs to come first, and that will help the outcomes for both drivers.

charlie white

Easy to fix. While both drivers bring considerable amounts of cash or sponsors with them, you tell them Force India was still doing better than a few better financed teams on the grid BEFORE their arrivals and it’s still capable of beating those teams without their funds, including the ones that may take you after you leave here. A rising tide lift all boats-work together NOW and we can all profit from success. End of sermon and race in peace!


Do you think Sauber will be giving their drivers a talking to? Wehrlein and Erikson were also pinballing off each other.