Following the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, there has been much discussion about Red Bull Racing’s team orders. Even though it was for the win, Mexican driver Sergio Perez had to let teammate and reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen pass him.
However, Canadian former racing driver and 1997 WDC winner Jacques Villeneuve doesn’t see these team orders as anything out of the extraordinary. Rather, he only deems them as necessary at that given point of time.
The weekend in Catalunya could not have worked out better for Red Bull Racing. Verstappen won the race, Perez claimed P2 right behind Verstappen and set the fastest lap time, and Charles Leclerc had to retire early from the race due to engine problems. Verstappen now leads the world championship having overtaken Leclerc, and Red Bull is currently leading the constructors’ standings.
Jacques Villeneuve gives his take on Red Bull’s hotly debated team orders
Verstappen did require some assistance from his team and teammate Perez in order to win. Red Bull assisted Verstappen in devising an offensive strategic plan to work around his DRS issues. Verstappen was so quick, he managed to catch up to Perez. The Mexican had managed to pass Verstappen earlier in the race, but he couldn’t reclaim that spot when he was stuck behind Max on fresh tyres.
However, Villeneuve contends that Red Bull did exactly the right thing and that Perez has no grounds for complaint. Verstappen, according to the Canadian, would have passed his teammate anyway with his fresh tyres, so a battle would only be disadvantageous to Red Bull.
”Of course Verstappen goes for it, he’s above him in the championship, he’s the number one and the world champion. Simple”, added the former Williams driver who has won the Spanish Grand Prix at the very same circuit in 1997.