When did 'B-teams' help 'A-teams' on-track in 2018?

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    Yesterday McLaren’s Zak Brown suggested there had been occasions in 2018 when B-teams have helped the manufacturers who supply them:

    F1 must address B-teams after ‘questionable on-track activities’ – Brown

    Which incidents do you think he is referring to?

    Ben Needham

    It depends on how we define “help”. I have two very different examples, both featuring Esteban Ocon.

    1) At Monaco, Lewis Hamilton pitted and came out behind Ocon. The Force India promptly let him through. You’d argue that the same courtesy probably wouldn’t have been afforded to Daniel Ricciardo or Sebastian Vettel in the same race.

    2) At Brazil, the very same Force India punted Max Verstappen out of the lead; promoting Hamilton to the win. Of course, this is a lot sketchier; but the actions of the ‘B’ team certainly “helped” the ‘A’ team.

    Alianora La Canta

    There were days when, at least temporarily, F1.5 was able to beat Red Bull – Riccardo got passed at least once by a F1.5 member. Being opportunists, there were times when Force India simply let Red Bulls through and other times when they… …didn’t. Ferraris and Mercedes were never knowingly impeded, even on the one occasion (Les Combes on lap 1 in Brazil) where it was just about possible that the advantage might have been kept had it been taken – because for either to do so would have required assistance from 3 other drivers, each from a different team, and this was unlikely to happen in a manner that suited both the FIF1s on either side. (Brazil, on the other hand, involved 1 driver from 1 team, and looked substantially more plausible). This is not to say Force India was 100% innocent of the charge; I just can’t think of an example that wasn’t explicable from the way in which the F1-F1.5 gap worked

    In fairness to Gunther, I’ve never seen a Haas driver do any sort of differential driving of the type he’s complaining about – the times when they were impeding drivers, they were completely even-handed in how they did so. I’m not sure the same was necessarily true for, say, Williams (Singapore springs to mind – and not only was a Haas was trying to race the Williams for part of the time I have in mind, but also got penalised for ignoring blue flags while attempting to race said Williams. This would further explain why Gunther is so incensed by all this).

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