Fernando Alonso claims he would have respected a team order to hold position had he been in Sebastian Vettel's situation in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggested in an interview with the UK's Sky Sports News that "if Fernando Alonso or Lewis [Hamilton] were in that position, they would do the same" as Vettel did when he disregarded team instructions and overtook Mark Webber to win at Sepang. But Alonso believes that the driver should be required to do what he is told by his team.
"I don't think I've ever been in that position; I guess I would hold position," said Alonso. "At the end of the day, your team is paying you and you have to do more or less what they ask you.
"You are a journalist, so you don't go to your newspaper and start painting the walls because you are not a painter and a [soccer] goalkeeper can't play as a forward. We all have our duties and I guess you have to respect them all the time."
MASSA BACKS "INTELLIGENT" TEAM ORDERS
Felipe Massa, who infamously had to hand victory to Alonso in the 2010 German Grand Prix (LEFT), believes that team orders are acceptable provided the circumstances are right, even though what happened in Malaysia has led to criticism of such measures.
The Brazilian has had to cede position to Alonso several times, as well as handing Kimi Raikkonen the victory required to win the world championship in Brazil 2007 by deliberately running slowly on his in- and out-laps during the second pit stops. But Massa has also benefited from team orders, with Raikkonen handing him second place in the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix.
"I'm not against team orders if it is an intelligent team order, at the right moment," said Massa. "I have helped many drivers, even Kimi to help him win the championship and Fernando in important races last year when he was fighting for the championship.
"When it is an intelligent time for a team order, I have no problem; but sometimes it is not really so intelligent, so I don't like it."