Klien: Orders after final stop is normal practice

Former Jaguar, Red Bull, BMW-Sauber and HRT driver Christian Klien

7 April 2013 by TF1T Staff

The use of team-orders after a driver's final scheduled pit stop is normal practice according to former Formula 1 driver Christian Klien.

In Malaysia, both Red Bull and Mercedes, who at the time were running first, second, third and fourth respectively, told their drivers not to race their team-mates and to hold position.

Whilst Sebastian Vettel denied the order and overtook Mark Webber, which Klien says will do the 25-year-old "no favours", Nico Rosberg took heed of his instruction and remained fourth, behind Lewis Hamilton, until the checkered flag.

Some fans felt they were robbed of an on-track battle because of the order, but Klien says such tactics are common place in F1.

"It's normal for drivers to be told not to race after the final pit stops; it's talked about before the race and every driver knows that once he pits for the last time wherever he re-joins - in front or behind his teammate - is where he will finish (not including other rivals)," the Austrian, who drove for Red Bull between 2005 and 2006, told Pitpass.

Klien backs the decision to use team orders, despite it being so early in the season.

"Rosberg mentioned over the radio a few times that he was faster than Hamilton, but he can only see the race in front of his car," he said. "On the pit wall Ross Brawn could see the whole race, and with Red Bull a long way ahead he was right to tell his drivers to hold position.

"Rosberg was an absolute professional; he would not have liked to be told that he couldn't finish on the podium but he respected the team's decision."