McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed he did not issue any team orders to his battling drivers during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The no-holds-barred tussle between Sergio Perez and Jenson Button saw Perez nudge the back of his team mate at turn four, then Button force him off the track later on.
Perez ultimately prevailed but Button did not disguise his displease at his team mate’s tactics, calling them “too aggressive”.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that, despite recent high-profile rows involving team orders, he did not instruct his drivers to back off.
“There were a lot of people on the edge of the nerves. But I did not issue a team order to them. That is not the way we go racing, and you cannot change your philosophy.”
However he did issue a rebuke to Perez for making contact with Button: “The one thing I did not approve of was hitting your team mate. He overstepped the mark. I gave my view on that.”
“But he is young and still learning. I would prefer to have to pull a racer back rather than have to push them forward. You would expect a driver to be hardwired to behave as Checo did in a deadly battle.”