Romain Grosjean was given a familiar instruction by his team during the recent Bahrain grand prix.
The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 reports that the Frenchman was told that his teammate “Kimi (Raikkonen) is faster than you”. Do not hold him up,” the radio message reportedly ended.
In 2010, when team orders were still illegal, Felipe Massa was famously told “Fernando (Alonso) is faster than you” shortly before the Brazilian gave up the lead of the race to Alonso. Ferrari was fined $100,000.
Today, team orders are allowed, but Lotus denied it instructed Grosjean to let 2007 world champion Raikkonen pass before the Finn finished second in Bahrain.
“We don’t want to play team orders,” Lotus team principal Eric Boullier insisted in Bahrain, “so we let them race normally and what happened, happened.”