Pérez understands SFI team instructions
10 October 2017 – Sergio Pérez says he understands Force India's approach after he was denied the opportunity to race team-mate Esteban Ocon for sixth position at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Pérez trailed Ocon at Suzuka and asked his race engineer whether he was permitted to launch an attack, but his request was met with a negative result, and he was told to hold station.
The decision comes in the wake of a spate of incidents and near-misses between Pérez and Ocon this year, in Canada, Azerbaijan, Hungary and Belgium.
After the final clash in Belgium – when the pair collided on the run to Eau Rouge – co-owner Vijay Mallya confirmed that team orders would be implemented.
Such a stance was taken in Japan, when Pérez followed Ocon home to collect seventh place.
"I felt I was quicker than Esteban in the second stint and I had an opportunity to overtake him at the final restart, but we followed the team's instructions," he said.
"We knew this would be the case so it wasn't a surprise, and swapping us wouldn't have made a difference in terms of points for the team, so I understand the team's perspective.
"In the end, Esteban did a great job during the whole weekend. The last two races have been really strong for us and I am very pleased with the results we have achieved."
Pérez also labelled his race as "relatively easy", having maintained seventh spot, profiting from Sebastian Vettel's exit, before being overhauled by the recovering Kimi Räikkönen.
"I am very happy for the team with this great result, which was definitely the maximum we could achieve," he commented.
"It was a relatively easy race: we had a strong qualifying session and we had good race pace, so we spent a lot of time on our own."
Pérez holds seventh place in this year's Constructors' Championship, 17 points clear of Ocon.