McLaren have clarified the situations in which they will and won't deploy team orders after instructing their drivers to hold station during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. In the early stages of the race, Daniel Ricciardo looked keen to make a move on Lando Norris, but was told not to, with Norris soon to pit. Ricciardo later made a stop under the Virtual Safety Car, which put him in front of Norris. Then, in the final laps of the event, Norris wanted to overtake his teammate in order to attack Fernando Alonso ahead. However, he was asked not to do so, given that the team had earlier requested the same of Ricciardo. This seemed to leave Norris frustrated over the radio, but the Briton did maintain his position and finished the race in ninth, behind Ricciardo in eighth.
Seidl explains thinking behind call
Despite both drivers appearing a little displeased at having to stay behind the other, team boss Andreas Seidl isn't concerned by this – in fact, he argues that it is normal behaviour from a racing driver. Seidl also believes that it is was the right call in order to ensure the best result for the team. "I think what we heard on the radio is what you would like to hear from every race driver, being ambitious and trying to have the best possible race for himself," Seidl told media, including RacingNews365.com . "That's why there's a team in place that makes sure we have the best possible outcome for the team, without risking [losing] two cars on track by crashing into each other. "Because, for example, if Daniel had gone by Lando at the beginning of the race, we would just have ended up in a yo-yo like we have seen with some other teams already this year, both being stuck behind Alonso, and having the risk that [Esteban] Ocon actually goes through, [on] at least one of these cars. "Our idea was, with holding position for both cars behind Fernando, that we make sure that we keep Ocon in check, which we did."
Allowing drivers to race "depends on the circumstances"
When asked whether there are certain circumstances in which the team will or will not allow the drivers to race each other, Seidl agreed that this is the case. "Yeah, it always depends on the circumstances," he explained. "Our drivers are free to race, and we always try to provide for both drivers the same opportunities to do well, because that's our responsibility. "But if we are on differing strategies and so on, obviously, you need to make sure as a team that you maximise the outcome."