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