Team orders in motorsport racing are the subject of much debate as it somehow undermines a driver's effort during the race.
During the recent Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen received the order of allowing fellow teammate Carlos Sainz to overtake him as a way to chase down Force India's Sergio Perez. Verstappen was not too keen on letting Sainz take eighth place and responded with a resounding “No!”.
The team radioed the young Dutch racing driver several times and even pleaded with him to let Sainz have a chance of getting ahead of Perez. In the end, Verstappen stuck with his response and completed the race in eighth place while Sainz had to contend with his ninth-place finish.
Defying a direct team order would most often merit a word with the boss, but in this case however, Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost praised Verstappen's refusal to let his Spanish teammate take eighth place.
Speaking with Sky Sports, Tost said that Sainz was having a difficult time catching up and the effort would have proved to be futile if Verstappen allowed him to pass.
“Carlos had new tires therefore we thought we could switch positions. But then Carlos was too slow, he was too far behind and Max was right. He saw that Carlos was not closing up and Carlos could not have caught Perez so we were right to let them go,” said Tost.
Sainz on the other hand stated that he would have let Verstappen take eighth place again if he wasn't able to pass Perez.
“I would have done it. I'm a fair man; I saw what Red Bull did in Monaco and said look this is the best thing you could ever do: play the team card, let the guy on the newer tire - which was me - at least try,” said Sainz.
In terms of Driver Points, Max Verstappen currently has 30 points while Carlos Sainz has accumulated 11 points.