Force India boss Vijay Mallya says Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will be free to race one another going forward after being involved in a team orders controversy during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Perez and Ocon trailed third place man Daniel Ricciardo for much of the Montreal race, with Ocon requesting Force India allow him past Perez to give him the chance of getting ahead of the Red Bull driver for a podium finish.

However, the more experienced Perez felt his best chance to overtake would come in upcoming lapped traffic and thus refused to move over for the young Frenchman. With Perez unable to find a way past, Sebastian Vettel eventually caught both and demoted them to eventual fifth and sixth place results.

With Ocon sounding his frustration after the race at Perez's action and the Mexican racer defending his reasons, Mallya explains he doesn't want the team to become embroiled in similar issues down the road and is thus encouraging both to 'race freely' within the best interests of the team.

"Montreal also showed the strengths of our driver line-up," Mallya said. "Sergio and Esteban are very closely-matched and they are pushing each other hard on the track. They both want to beat each other and this healthy competition will help drive us forward. They will get the best out of each other. We will continue to allow them to race freely, but we will always balance this with the best interests of the team. You can't pre-plan these things and every situation will be different.

Perez, meanwhile, still feels he did the right thing in refusing to yield to Ocon and is ultimately encouraged to find himself in such a situation anyway.

"There were a lot of things said after Montreal and lots of different opinions, but I'm pleased the team decided to let us race without team orders. I will always fight for the best result for the team and I'm proud of our race.

"There were discussions on the radio about switching positions with Esteban, but my pace was good and I was running close to Daniel [Ricciardo] for almost 50 laps. I knew my best chance to overtake was during the lapped traffic and I got very close, but we didn't have the pace advantage to make the move."


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