Following the events of the Canadian Grand Prix, Force India boss Vijay Mallya will issue new guidelines on how to manage the team's drivers, but insists they will still be free to race.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished fifth and sixth in Montreal after an eventful race in which the two teammates went wheel-to-wheel on track.
Ocon's strategy meant he had fresher tyres, but he became bottled up behind teammate Perez when they were running fifth and fourth behind the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. The team considered ordering Perez to let Ocon through so he could attack Ricciardo, but after a series of conversations over pit-to-car radio it opted not to issue a decisive order.
Ultimately, the scrapping teammates both lost a position to Sebastian Vettel in the final few laps and Mallya said the outcome of the race had convinced him to review the team's rules of engagement going forward.
Well done guys @ForceIndiaF1 Proud of you. Our policy of no team orders continues but I will specify guidelines to achieve best team result— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) June 11, 2017
One option discussed was for Perez to let his teammate through and then reverse the positions later in the race if Ocon was unable to pass Ricciardo. In the end, the pit wall agreed to let Perez have another three laps trying to pass Ricciardo before reconsidering a swap, but by that time Vettel had closed on Ocon and it was too risky to shuffle the drivers.
"The option we gave Sergio was to take three laps back and try to overtake and if that didn't happen then swap," team COO Otmar Szafnauer explained. "In those three laps he tried it and the Ferraris caught him. So now the swap with the Ferraris there was impossible."
And Szafnauer confirmed the pit wall did not issue a direct team order for Perez to move aside.
"No, we never gave him that order. We had the discussion and Checo said there was lapped traffic coming up and to let him have another go. The thing you've got to remember too is that Checo was all the time behind Ricciardo saving his tyres. He's a smart racer and if he knows he can't overtake, he's saving his tyres for the opportunity.
"In his mind the opportunity he was going to have was lapped traffic, which was just about to happen. So he said 'give me a chance and when the lapped traffic comes up I will try and if I can't then I'll swap' but by that time it was too late."
With hindsight, Szafnauer said Force India would have swapped its drivers earlier.
"If we re-run the race now, hindsight is a wonderful thing and we have more information. What I would have done is perhaps swap them earlier when the Ferraris were pitting because then it's easy, you can have a go and still get your tyres back up to temperature and there's no risk from behind if it doesn't happen and you still have time to swap back. But we didn't do that and we started discussing it a bit late and after that it was too late."