Perez on the defensive after ignoring team order

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Sergio Perez was on the defensive after a fracas with Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon during the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Silverstone-based team enjoyed their most competitive race of the season so far in Montreal, fighting with the Ferraris and Daniel Ricciardo for the final place on the podium.

However, a decision by Perez to ignore team orders and not allow the faster Ocon through would see both drivers fall foul of a recovering Sebastian Vettel in the closing laps, meaning they finished fifth and sixth when the result could have been much better.

Perez, who had pleaded with the team to "let them race", insisted: “Of course, I'm racing for my team.

"The best I can do is give plenty of points to them, as I have in the past. I think we got the most we could, and Esteban had many laps to overtake me, but he was not close at all.

"I couldn't get Ricciardo, so I don't think he would have got him. Daniel was very strong on traction."

The former Montreal podium sitter also believed there was still a strong chance he could pass the Red Bull ahead when the order came through.

"When the team asked me to give the position to Esteban we were about to lap some cars ahead of us and I thought that Daniel might get traffic. I only need two to three tenths to get the opportunity on him, and I could see he was struggling and I knew the Ferraris were coming

The last lap of the race saw a furious Ocon trying to overtake his teammate chasing him right up to the finish line.

"I think I just defended the position as I would do to anyone – I just moved once," he said about the battle towards the final chicane. "I protected my inside line because of Sebastian [Vettel] the lap before just went past on my inside.

"I made a move to protect that. If he was fast enough, he'd have gone through on the outside. I was just trying to protect my position."

The 20-year-old had an excellent first race in Canada and believed his first ever podium was possible at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He also assured that the incident with his team-mate would be resolved behind closed doors.

“It was a great race, all in all, it was just a shame I couldn’t get the chance to pass Ricciardo,” he said.

“I think I had the pace by far to do it, a podium was possible for me today. That is how it is, that is racing sometimes.

“We have to discuss what happened in the debriefing room. I am not scared at all. The talk will happen in the debriefing, there is no reason to be scared or anything.”