Eric Boullier insists that Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen were left free to race in Korea last weekend and won't be subjected to team orders in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The pair battled hard for second place behind Sebastian Vettel, with Raikkonen eventually coming out on top after forcing his way past at turn one.
After the team moved to downplay a potential team orders row
in the aftermath of the race, Boullier again insisted that the two drivers had been left free to race and had secured a 'great result for the team' in the process.
“We want our drivers to race for the best results for the team, so if you have the opportunity of a two-three with both drivers – and there is no Drivers' Championship consideration – you will let them fight for the positions and rely on their good sense not to take each other off,” he said.
“Of course, we have had occasions where one driver is on a different strategy from the other and has the pace to challenge for positions ahead – which is when you might ask the slower driver to make the sensible decision – but this wasn't the case in Korea; we let Kimi and Romain fight for position.
“We may have been a little nervous occasionally on the pit wall, but both drove superbly to help achieve a great result for the team.”
Boullier also insisted that the TV footage of the race in Korea had only told part of the story when it came to the messages that were passed between Lotus and its two drivers in Yeongam.
“You have to remember that the television feed only takes certain edits from radio transmissions between the driver and the pit wall,” he said. “We had Romain asking for Kimi to let him by as he felt he was faster, but we wanted to leave the drivers to determine their positions by racing on track which is why we were telling Romain to race Kimi.
“As we know, Kimi doesn't want to talk too much to the pit wall and doesn't need words of encouragement; he knows what he's doing and we saw that once more in Korea.”